Finland has offered use of its air academy as an interim solution for the proposed Eurotraining project. The country is one of 12 nations signed up to study the possible joint advanced pilot training programme.

Finnish air force chief of plans and operations, Col Jarmo Lindberg, says the service aims to remove its BAE Systems Hawk 50s from frontline duties from 2005-8. At the same time, Hawk operations will be concentrated at its aviation academy at Kauhava in western Finland.

Lindberg told the IQPC Military Flight Training conference in London last week that Finland has offered Kauhava as an interim solution for the Eurotraining programme. The proposal offers a single aircraft type for training and a large flying area, he says. Lindberg says the air force's 52 Hawks will be an "excess capability" as Finland trains only 14-16 pilots a year.

As part of the plan to concentrate the Hawk at Kauhava, the academy's piston-engined Valmet Vinkas basic trainers will be moved. English is also being introduced in preparation for Finnish air force participation in international coalition operations.

Meanwhile, the air force is finalising a report outlining options for future pilot training, says Lindberg. The report is part of the preparatory work for a defence white paper due to be published next year.

Finland has also discussed with the UK its Military Flight Training System programme and has sent an instructor to participate in the Bombardier-led NATO Flying Training in Canada scheme.


Source: Flight International