BAE Systems is proceeding with design and wind-tunnel testing of a new wing for the evergreen Hawk jet trainer. The work, which is being done in the UK, was prompted by Indian interest in producing a “combat” version of the aircraft, as a follow-on to the current licensed production of the Mk132 advanced jet trainer (AJT) version by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL). BAE and HAL signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in May 2015 to explore future cooperation, and discussions continue.
Steve Timms, BAE’s managing director of defense information and training services, said that a slatted wing would produce an “interesting” increase in the Hawk’s performance, including shorter takeoffs and landings, and agility. New sensors and weapons would be added, as well as a helmet-mounted display for the pilot, and possibly also a single large-screen display in the front cockpit. Indian media last year reported an MBDA official suggesting the ASRAAM and Brimstone missiles as armaments. “The Hawk can already drop 500-pound bombs,” Timms noted.
HAL is currently producing the last of the 123 Hawk Mk132s that India ordered in various batches through 2010. The Indian air force is flying up to 100 sorties per day, and the aircraft is demonstrating good availability, said Timms. The MoU also includes a possible long-term joint venture for the support of these aircraft, and for India’sBAE Jaguars, which are likely to remain in service for decades to come, according to Timms. If a firm agreement to develop the combat Hawk can be reached, BAE would first modify its UK-based Hawk AJT demonstrator, he added.
Meanwhile, production of Hawk AJTs in the UK is assured until 2018, thanks to recent orders by Saudi Arabia (44) and Oman (8). These aircraft have the latest cockpit and training system modifications to help pilots from those countries transition to the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet. “The current Hawk is still very relevant, and we can create a rich training environment, both in the air on the ground,” Timms said.
Mk 132 advanced jet trainer (AJT) version
On 23 February 2008, the Hawk Mk. 132 formally entered service with the Indian Air Force (IAF), after one of the most protracted procurements in India’s history, two decades having elapsed between the initial interest and the contract signing on 26 March 2004. The IAF received 24 aircraft directly from BAE Systems with deliveries beginning in November 2007, and further 42 Hawks assembled by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited between 2008 and 2011. In February 2008, India planned to order 57 more Hawks, with 40 going to the Indian Air Force and the remaining 17 to the Indian Navy.
In July 2010, it was announced that the IAF and the Navy would receive the additional 57 aircraft. The additional aircraft will be all built in India by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), continuing to work under licence from BAE. On 10 February 2011, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and GE Aviation signed a contract under which GE Aviation will conduct the next 30 years of maintenance on the Hawk fleet. In 2011, the IAF was reportedly unhappy with the provision of spare components; In December 2011, BAE received a contract to provide India with spares and ground support.
The first IAF Hawk AJT crashed on 29 April 2008 at 406 Air Force Station Bidar, Karnataka. On 3 June 2015, another Hawk AJT aircraft crashed near Baharagora, close to the West Bengal – Odisha border.
The Hawk fleet is based at IAF’s Bidar Air Force Station in north Karnataka, about 700 km from Bangalore. As of 2015, a total of 123 aircraft were on order by the Indian Air Force and 17 by the Indian Navy. An additional order of 20 aircraft is under negotiation.
The Hawk Mk. 132 is the latest export variant of the Hawk and was previously known as the Mk. 115Y. BAE Systems delivered the final of 24 UK-built Hawks to the IAF in November 2009. HAL handed over the first locally-built Hawk 132 on 14 August 2008. These aircraft are powered by the Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 871 engine
Specifications (Hawk 128)
Hawk 132 @airrecognition.com
Data from Royal Air Force, BAE Systems, Ministry of Defence
- Crew: 2: student, instructor
- Length: 12.43 m (40 ft 9 in)
- Wingspan: 9.94 m (32 ft 7 in)
- Height: 3.98 m (13 ft 1 in)
- Wing area: 16.70 m2 (179.64 ft2)
- Empty weight: 4,480 kg (9,880 lb)
- Useful load: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 9,100 kg (20,000 lb)
- Powerplant: 1× Rolls-Royce Adour Mk. 951 turbofan with FADEC, 29 kN (6,500 lbf) 29 kN
Adour Mk 951 – Designed for the latest versions of the BAE Hawk and powering the BAE Taranis and Dassault nEUROn UCAV technology demonstrators. The Adour Mk 951 is a more fundamental redesign than the Adour Mk 106, with improved performance (rated at 6,500 lbf (29,000 N) thrust) and up to twice the service life of the 871. It features an all-new fan and combustor, revised HP and LP turbines, and introduces Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). The Mk 951 was certified in 2005. @wikiwand.com
- Maximum speed: Mach 0.84 (1,028 km/h, 638 mph) at altitude
- Range: 2,520 km (1,360 nmi, 1,565 mi)
- Service ceiling: 13,565 m (44,500 ft)
- Rate of climb: 47 m/s (9,300 ft/min)
- Thrust/weight: 0.65
- Note: all armament is optional.
- 1× 30 mm ADEN cannon, in centreline pod
- Up to 6,800 lb (3,085 kg) of weapons on five hardpoints, including:
- 1,500 lb (680 kg), limited to one centreline and two wing pylons (Hawk T1)