The UK has moved a step closer to training the first student pilots using its BAE Systems-built Hawk T2 fleet, while the company is also poised to strengthen its bid to sell a further development of the type to the US Air Force.

A first cadre of 10 military instructors began their training on the Hawk T2 at Royal Air Force base Valley in Anglesey, northwest Wales on 9 January, according to Ascent Flight Training, the Ministry of Defence's delivery partner for the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS) programme. After completing their course, the instructors will begin providing training to students using the T2 aircraft of 4(R) Sqn from 2 April 2012.

 Hawk T2 pair - BAE Systems

© BAE Systems

BAE has delivered all 28 Hawk T2s ordered for the RAF under the advanced jet trainer element of the MFTS scheme.

Meanwhile, the company will on 12 January announce the addition of a new member to its bid team pursuing the USAF's pending T-X trainer requirement, which will replace a fleet of almost 500 Northrop T-38 Talons. BAE late last year confirmed that the selection of a Hawk-based solution would see Northrop Grumman assume responsibility for manufacturing the type in the USA.

BAE flew two of the RAF's Hawk T2s to the USA late last year to support its promotion of the single-engined type, and exhibited the aircraft during air shows at bases in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.

 Hawk T-X rendering - BAE Systems

© BAE Systems

BAE Systems is promoting a development of its Hawk 128/T2 for the US Air Force's T-X requirement

The USAF has yet to issue a formal request for proposals for its T-X requirement, but other candidates already being promoted for the deal include a proposed T-100 variant of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and the Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50.

Source: Flight International