The South African air force's Hawk 120 lead-in fighter trainer programme has achieved a significant milestone, with the debut flight of the service's first locally assembled aircraft. Conducted from Denel Aviation's plant at Johannesburg International airport on 13 January, the aircraft's first 80min sortie included a successful demonstration of its flight controls and other key systems. The air force will receive its first of 24 Hawks in mid-2005, with deliveries of the aircraft - 23 of which are to undergo assembly in South Africa - scheduled to conclude in mid-2006.

Source: Flight International