BAE Systems has begun final assembly of the first production Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer for the UK Ministry of Defence. The company is under contract to build 28 Hawk AJTs for Royal Air Force and Royal Navy fast-jet training.

The first aircraft, RT003, is being assembled at BAE Brough, where it will undergo ground and flight tests before transferring to BAE Warton in the second quarter of 2008 to complete the production flight-acceptance test programme. The aircraft is to be delivered to the MoD later in 2008.

                                                                                              © BAE Systems

Two development Hawk AJTs are in the final phase of flight testing at Warton. The Hawk AJT was selected by the MoD in 2003, and BAE was awarded a contract in 2006 for 28 production aircraft plus the productionisation of the two development aircraft.

The Hawk AJT is fitted with new avionics including digital moving map, ground proximity warning system and traffic collision avoidance system, and will be used to train pilots for front-line aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon under the UK Military Flight Training System.

The first of 66 Hawks for the Indian air force were delivered in November 2007. BAE is building 24 of the aircraft in the UK, while the remaining 42 will be manufactured under licence in India by Hindustan Aeronautics.