SHAH ALAM: Latest Hawk Takes to the Skies. In one of Malaysian Defence post earlier, it was asked whether BAE Systems is working towards a more advanced version of the Hawk. The question was answered on June 7 when a prototype Advanced Hawk took off for its maiden flight.
The advanced Hawk is a two seater training jet and not a modernised variant of the single seat Hawk Mk 200 series, of course. Will BAE Systems produced an advanced Hawk 200? If they could find a launch customer, of course. BAE Systems however envisaged that the new variant could also be used as a light attack aircraft.
No, I am not advocating Malaysia be the launch customer of a new Hawk 200 nor even the latest variant of the twin seater or even put the upgrades on our Hawks. Far from it. I am aware that this is just a Malaysian defence news website not a commission-earning company!
From BAE Systems
New concept Hawk demonstrator aircraft takes to the skies.
A concept of a future variant of BAE Systems’ highly successful Hawk aircraft has flown for the first time at the Company’s military aircraft facility in Warton, Lancashire, June 7, 2017 Equipped with a new type of pilot display, a redesigned wing and defensive aids, the Advanced Hawk will meet market requirements for the next generation of fast jet training aircraft.
Whilst the existing Hawk continues to be the world’s most successful jet trainer, the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator builds on these proven successes. The concept demonstrator features an upgraded cockpit equipped with BAE Systems’ LiteHUD® (a low-profile head-up display) and a new, large area display that introduces a new student/pilot training experience. It also features a redesigned wing that increases performance in areas such as turn rates, angles of attack and both take-off and landing.
Other technology advances include increased stores capability, a new set of defensive aids and a range of new flight systems, all aimed at ensuring Hawk continues to provide the edge in fast jet pilot training, as well as offering increased operational utility.
The first flight of the aircraft builds on its public debut at Aero India 2017 in Bangalore earlier this year.
Steve Timms, Managing Director Defence Information, Training & Services at BAE Systems said: “The successful first flight of the Advanced Hawk concept demonstrator is the latest step in the aircraft’s development and marks a significant milestone in Hawk’s capability upgrade.
“We already have the world’s leading advanced jet trainer and the new features in Advanced Hawk have been developed after listening to our customers’ views on where fast jet pilot training will go in the future and how we ensure the Hawk continues to meet their requirements.
“By using this demonstrator aircraft we have highlighted to existing users of Hawk that many of the proposed features of an Advanced Hawk, such as the large area display and new wing, could be achievable as upgrades.”
The aircraft will now undergo a series of flights to collect test data on the new key capability enhancements.
Based on my short hop in a cockpit of a Hawk Mk208 at Labuan recently, the advanced Hawk cockpit is placed at a higher angle than the earlier variant. This probably will allow the pilot to scan the instruments without looking down into the cockpit.
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What is new?
A better wing by, wait for it, permanently deleted wing tip missile launchers! Hah!
And adding off the shelf esterline cockpit 4000 next gen displays.
Would it be cheap? Probably not. Would it be better than similarly priced kai t-50? Probably not too…
No doubt it will cost more than the T-50 but the question really is what key advantages it will have over the T-50? Also, is it aimed primarily for customers who want an advanced LIFT or a LIFT with a secondary attack function? Some customers want a LIFT platform but don’t really need a secondary attack function. I guess only time will tell how successful BAE Systems will be with the Hawk in the coming years. The ”advanced” Hawk as showcased by HAL is aimed primarily at the IAF.