BAE Systems awarded Hawk contract

BAE Systems will provide the mission computer and autopilot system for 20 Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft recently ordered by Britain’s Ministry of Defence.

BAE Systems Platform Solutions will provide the mission computer and autopilot system for 20 Hawk 128 Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft recently ordered by the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The mission computer is an open-architecture system in development at Platform Solutions’ facility in Edinburgh, UK. This computer provides the graphics for all six cockpit display panels and a head-up display. The new autopilot system will enable the MoD to fly the Hawk in controlled civil airspace and will also reduce pilot workload.

The system consists of a computer, rate gyro unit, tailplane actuator, and aileron actuators. The gyros will be provided by BEI Systron Donner, and the actuators by Smiths Aerospace.

Additionally, the Platform Solutions unit will provide the aircraft’s Inertial Navigation Global Positioning System (IN-GPS) system. IN-GPS forms the core of the aircraft’s positioning and navigation system by correlating both inertial and global positioning satellite data to provide an accurate positional fix.

BAE Systems Air Systems, based in Brough, UK, is the Hawk prime contractor. The MoD’s order consists of an initial purchase of 20 aircraft with an option for an additional 24. The aircraft are scheduled for delivery beginning in 2008.