Thursday, February 26, 2009

RAF gets it's first Hawk 128s... but there is a hitch

The RAF has accepted it's first Hawk 128s and expects to get 22 of them this year with the other 6 next year. However most of the aircraft received this year will be put into storage because of "logistics issues". It is not that clear what these issues are, the MOD declined to comment in English but instead said "Emerging issues have caused BAE Systems to seek a number of production concessions, and the MoD is working with them to identify the optimum way forward in terms of cost and schedule."

OK whatever but the Hawk T2, as it will be designated, is still expected to enter service in November. However the Hawks will initially be in OC0 standard without embedded simulation capabilities of the final OC2 which should happen by 2012. Training of RAF instructor pilots on the new type has already begun.

The MOD PFI Military Flying Training System (MFTS) could be in trouble because of the global financial Armageddon however. Major lenders are now reluctant to back PFI contracts and this could put a spanner in the works in efforts to procure new fixed and rotary wing training aircraft.

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