Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, has announced that a £450m contract has been awarded to BAE Systems to build 28 Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft.
The Hawk 128 will prepare fast jet aircrew for flying front-line aircraft with a modern cockpit environment of digital displays sophisticated navigation and advanced avionics. It will be used for training Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy pilots.
The contract covers production of the 28 aircraft and the provision of logistic spares, and initial training. The Hawk 128 will prepare fast jet aircrew for flying front-line aircraft by delivering a modern cockpit environment with digital displays sophisticated navigation and advanced avionics, including simulations of the latest airborne weapons systems.
The Hawk 128's modern cockpit environment will have much in common with highly advanced frontline aircraft such as the Typhoon and Joint Combat Aircraft. The choice of Hawk 128 as the Advanced Jet Trainer will reduce the cost of training pilots up to the standard required for operational aircraft by enabling more training to be undertaken prior to converting to frontline aircraft.
The Hawk 128 will be built at the BAE Systems site in Brough on Humberside and assembled at their Warton facility. It is anticipated that the first of the aircraft will be delivered to the RAF in 2008. Hawk 128 will form a key part of the
's Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) programme which will modernise, and provide coherent flying training for the UK Armed Forces.