Bahrain has picked the BAE Systems Hawk advanced trainer for its air force pilot academy.

The Hawk's selection is part of Bahrain's go-ahead for phases three and four of its air academy plan, says BAE vice-chairman Sir Charles Masefield.

Contract negotiations are due to start shortly to finalise aircraft numbers and specification. 

For the training role, Bahrain probably requires around six Hawks, although earlier discussions have included replacing at least some of its ageing Northrop F-5E/Fs with the same type as an advanced trainer.

Phases three and four cover acquisition of synthetic training devices, including Hawk simulators, and the advanced trainers.

Earlier this year, BAE was awarded phases one and two, for pilot selection services and the acquisition of three Slingsby T67M260 elementary trainers.

At present, Bahrain pilots go overseas for training.

Source: Flight International