Ottawa to evaluate mid-life update for BAE Systems Hawk 115s over aircraft replacement for lead-in fighter training

The Canadian Forces are interested in launching an upgrade programme for NATO Flying Training in Canada’s (NFTC) BAE Systems Hawk 115 fighter lead-in trainers from 2008 to ensure the type remains relevant to its multinational users.

Modifications believed to be on Ottawa’s wishlist for the Hawk include a simulated air-to-air radar and radar-warning receiver capability, air combat manoeuvring instrumentation and formation lighting.

“The technology wasn’t there with the 115, but it is now,” says air force Lt Col Dave McComb. “What we need is an upgraded 115 with better kit on it, so we can provide a better result to the operational conversion unit.” The modifications – many of which have been developed for the UK Ministry of Defence’s future Hawk 128 trainers – will only be applied to those aircraft used for lead-in fighter training at Cold Lake, Alberta, McComb says.

An alternative to a mid-life update for part of the Bombardier-managed NFTC system’s 21-strong Hawk 115 fleet from around 2010-11 would be to acquire replacement aircraft, says McComb, who adds: “It’s important to keep all the doors open.” NFTC’s 26 Raytheon T-6A turboprop trainers will not need modernising, he adds.

Canada, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the UK currently send students to complete NFTC courses at Cold Lake and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and Bombardier remains confident of securing additional users in the near future (Flight International, 8-14 November 2005).

  • The Kelowna Flightcraft-led Allied Wings consortium has begun delivering initial services under Canada’s new primary flying training system, with initial operating capability to be declared in mid-2006.
    Seven Bell 206 helicopters are already being operated, and five of the system’s nine Grob G120A primary trainers have been delivered. Full operating capability will be established in the third quarter of 2007, with the completion of Grob deliveries and the availability of nine refurbished Bell 412 twin-engine helicopters and seven Beechcraft King Air C90B multi-engine training aircraft.


Source: Flight International