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New Hawk Advanced Trainer Flies Past Major Milestones

RAF Valley, Wales – A significant achievement has been achieved with the first 500 sorties, and 500 flying hours, completed on the UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT).

The RAF received the first of their 28 Hawk AJTs, also known as the TMk2, in 2009.  Significant progress with the aircraft, which is used to train fast jet pilots of the future, has been made to date.

Wing Commander Brian Braid said: “To complete over 500 sorties and flying hours in the Hawk TMk2 is a great achievement. Since coming into service with 19(Reserve) Squadron last April the aircraft has caused quite a stir at RAF Valley as a world leading fast jet trainer.

“It has all the familiarity of the world renowned and much loved Hawk series of aircraft, but has the added bonus of being packed with the latest technology and avionics. The Hawk TMk2 is set to revolutionise the way the RAF trains its future fast jet pilots under the UK Military Flying Training System. All the pilots currently flying the Hawk TMk2 have nothing but praise for its ability to emulate our front line aircraft and are looking forward to being able to teach students and front line fast jet pilots in the new aircraft in the near future.”

Martin Rushton, Managing Director for BAE Systems’ Training & Hawk UK business commented: “This is great news for both the RAF and BAE Systems. The RAF only received the first of their aircraft last year and have already got to grips with it and achieved this high number of sorties and flying hours. As a Company we believe the AJT is the most advanced jet trainer in the world, feedback from the RAF service personnel who are now using the aircraft provides the evidence of our belief. ”

BAE Systems has recently been awarded a contract to support the AJT aircraft over the next four years, and is responsible not only for the number of aircraft made available for training flights but also for ensuring that the aircraft are able to carry out the training mission effectively.

To date 23 of the 28 aircraft have been delivered by BAE Systems to the RAF at RAF Valley. The final aircraft is due to be delivered this year.

BAE Systems also currently supports the RAF’s Hawk TMk1 fleet at RAF Valley on Anglesey in Wales. 

Over 900 Hawk aircraft have been sold, or are on order, and the aircraft is currently helping produce highly trained pilots across 25 countries worldwide. The AJT is the latest evolution of the Hawk family of Jet Trainers. It features the latest embedded training capabilities, and when combined into an Integrated Training System will deliver trained pilots at the lowest cost.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defence, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services.  In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of £22.4 billion (US$ 36.2 billion).

For further information, please contact:
Dean Tasker, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 858054 Mob: +44 (0) 7793 420019

Andy Bunce, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 852070 Mob: +44 (0) 7801 716448