BAe has converted the Royal Navy's 31 FRS1 Sea Harriers to FA2 standard under a ú170 million mid-life-update contract awarded in December 1988. Eighteen new-build FA2s have also been ordered. The aircraft has the capability to engage low-flying targets beyond visual range, and will have improved self-defence capabilities.

The FA2 has a Blue Vixen pulse-Doppler radar, in place of the Blue Fox. BAe Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles can also be carried, as they are on the FRS1. A 1553B digital databus is installed and the FA2's cockpit has been extensively redesigned.

Sea Harrier FRS51s (similar to the FRS1) are in service with the Indian navy, and delivery of a third batch (seven single-seat Mk51s and one two-seat Mk60) is complete.


BAe offers single-seat combat variants of its Hawk advanced jet-trainer. The Hawk 200 series fitted with the Westinghouse APG-66H radar can carry a variety of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, including the Loral Sidewinder.

Indonesia has ordered 16 Hawk 200s and eight Hawk 100s. The two-seat Hawk 100 is also intended for use in the ground-attack role. The original Hawk T1 trainer for the RAF was first flown in August 1974. Current production variants are the 60, 100, and 200 Series.

The two-seat Hawk 100 is an enhanced ground-attack/advanced-training aircraft, equipped with inertial navigation, head-up display and weapons-aiming computer, optional laser or FLIR and improved cockpit controls and displays, all linked by 1553B digital databus.


British Aerospace has won the MoD's Replacement Maritime Patrol Aircraft competition to provide the RAF a next-generation MPA aircraft. The BAe bid is based around a refurbished, re-engined Nimrod MR2. The first of 21 upgraded aircraft is to be delivered in 2002. The RAF also operates three Nimrod R1s in the electronic-intelligence role.

Source: Flight International