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Thread: UK to approve Hawk 128 deal

  1. #1
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    UK to approve Hawk 128 deal

    UK to approve Hawk 128 deal

    By Craig Hoyle at RAF Valley

    BAE Systems says a production order for a further 26 Hawk 128 advanced jet trainers (AJT) from the UK Ministry of Defence could be signed at the Farnborough air show.

    BAE’s Hawk managing director Mark Parkinson says the company is funding long-lead activities in advance of the award, and expects to deliver its first production aircraft to the Royal Air Force in the third quarter of 2008.

    BAE and the MoD will have to negotiate an Operating Clearance 2 (OC2) capability package for the 128 fleet, after confirming the production deal, to add simulated radar, electronic warfare and datalink functions to the type’s basic OC0 configuration.

    However, Parkinson expects the UK deal to include some funding to conduct risk-reduction activities on the enhanced standard – software-based deliveries of which are expected to start in mid-2009 or during 2010.

    The UK’s future fleet of 28 Hawk AJTs – which will also include BAE’s two development aircraft – could be expanded further, once the equipment structure for its future Military Flying Training System has been established, Parkinson says.
    from www.flightglobal.com

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob L
    The unit price of the Hawk is astounding - very close to the delivery price of a F-16 Block 50! It is easy to see why the USAF has stuck with the updated T-38C - an aircraft which is more than capable of the advanced training needed for the F-22 and upcoming F-35.

    The sad truth is that the Hawk is very close to the end of its production run and BAE Systems is deteremined to get out of the airframe manufacturing business. Buying British doesn't save jobs in this case - it only extends them by a matter of months.

    The UK would have been well advised to enter into the Eurotraining partnership, or even to have relegated training to the United States.

  3. #3
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    I think an economical high performance turboprop like the PC-21 http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/pc_21/ would be the best option. Save the big money for frontline equipment.

  4. #4
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    The PC-21 might well be an excellent replacement for Tucano, and might well allow some of the present Valley syllabus to be 'downloaded' to BFTS. I think M311 would fit that bill very well, too. But it's not really a suitable platform for AFTS.

    Whereas Hawk 128 is optimised as an advanced trainer for the next generation of fast jets and will allow some OCU tasks to be downloaded to Valley, with immense cost savings.

    Unit price is an irrelevance (and you need to be careful about what is and isn't included - unit flyaway is far lower than the cheapest F-16), Hawk scores on its phenomenally low hourly flying costs and very low costs of ownership, and far from sticking with the ancient and costly T-38, the USAF would be well advised to follow the RAF's lead and go for a Hawk/T-45 version.

  5. #5
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    Personally, I was hoping for the M-346, or possibly the T-50 (it would have made a great aggressor aircraft for DACT), but in reality, the Hawk was the only politically acceptable choice. Much like the ill-advised Lynx purchase, it is another blind political decision, buying British instead of buying the best, which of course would have been built in the UK anyway.

  6. #6
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    The unit price of the Hawk is astounding - very close to the delivery price of a F-16 Block 50! It is easy to see why the USAF has stuck with the updated T-38C - an aircraft which is more than capable of the advanced training needed for the F-22 and upcoming F-35.

    The sad truth is that the Hawk is very close to the end of its production run and BAE Systems is deteremined to get out of the airframe manufacturing business. Buying British doesn't save jobs in this case - it only extends them by a matter of months.

    The UK would have been well advised to enter into the Eurotraining partnership, or even to have relegated training to the United States.
    I doubt it. The Hawk production line is more or less sold out till about 2010-2011 with the UK, Indian and Bahraini orders. Then it (Hawk 128 and T45) is in contention for UAE, Saudi, Singapore, Brunei, Greece, Malaysia, Thailand, Israel and Indian Navy requirements which add up to about 250 aircraft, if they just win 30% (much less than in the past) then they'd have another 3-5 years of production to about 2013-2016. Also you are misinformed about BAe getting out of the airframe business. Actually they are starting a major expansion in Unmanned airframes. And about the price: The Indian (I'll admit not a 128) Hawk costs about 15 Million Pounds. With the high US-Dollar exchange this is about 28 Million Dollars. This includes the cost of licence production for example. But of course they are not cheap. BTW the air force is being pushed by senate to look at T50 and T45 to replace the T38.

    Personally, I was hoping for the M-346, or possibly the T-50 (it would have made a great aggressor aircraft for DACT), but in reality, the Hawk was the only politically acceptable choice. Much like the ill-advised Lynx purchase, it is another blind political decision, buying British instead of buying the best, which of course would have been built in the UK anyway.
    I doubt a full licence manufacture for just 28 frames! Besides technologies developed for the 128 have filtered into BAe's UAVs and potentially their new UCAV technology demonstrator. I think Hawk 128 was the only correct choice.
    Last edited by Rob L; 11th July 2006 at 04:28.

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