Hawks Flying High

SHAH ALAM: Hawks Flying High. At the TUDM media day last Thursday (May 25, 2017) at the Labuan airbase it was revealed that the two RMAF Hawk squadrons, No 6 Skn and No 15 Skn, have now settled down on their respective roles. The 6 Skn is the dedicated combat squadron while the 15 Skn is the training one.

It is for this reason, 6 Skn based at Labuan operates only the single seater BAE System Mk 208 Hawks while the 15 Skn, operates the twin seater Mk 108s from Butterworth airbase. In the past, they operated both types.

Hawk M40-32 which carries a bomb and rocket markings most likely from the Lahad Datu operations in 2013.

The transfer of the single seaters and twin seaters between both squadrons were done within the last two years as 6 Skn was transferred from Kuantan airbase to Labuan. The move to base the Hawks at Labuan was made following the Lahad Datu incursion in 2013.
Two Hawks of 6 Skn breaking over Labuan airbase as they prepare to land.

Apart from the change of roles, the move was probably done due to the shrinking number of Hawk aircraft in RMAF following various accidents and crashes.

RMAF Hawk 108 firing FZ rockets at the exercise. First public showing of the FZ rockets which were signed for in 2012.

With the change of roles, new pilots destined for 6 Skn will be trained on the Mk 108s with the 15 Skn in Butterworth before they are posted to the Labuan-based squadron. In the past, new pilots to both squadrons trained on their own respective two-seaters before transitioning to the single seaters.
Hawk M40-04 from 15 Skn at the Firepower Exercise in Gemas on May 22, 2017.

Those selected for the Sukhoi Su-30MKM or F/A=18D squadrons are trained at Pulatibang 3 in Kuantan on the Aermacchi MB339CMs.
A close up of the muzzle of an ADEN 30mm gun on the Hawk.

The MK 208 is armed with Thales FZ rockets, dumb bombs and a single 30mm ADEN cannon fitted on the centreline.

The 19 round FZ rocket launcher on the Hawk. They usually carry one of this launcher on each wing.

As it was a media day, guests were allowed to get into the Hawk cockpit. Despite the size of the aircraft, the cockpit of the Hawk felt rather comfortable compared to the cramped F-16 cockpit which I had tried in Singapore. The Hawk cockpit however is smaller than the F-15 and the F-5s.

— Malaysian Defence

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