The 33 aircraft upgrade began in 2014 and finished on time and within budget.
Each upgraded Hawk aircraft provides new training capabilities including simulated radar, electronic warfare, digital mapping, ground proximity warning system and traffic collision avoidance.
The Australian Hawk Mk127 fleet has been an integral part of the fast jet training system since 2001, enabling the RAAF to produce highly trained aircrew for life in the cockpits of combat aircraft including F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers.
The modified aircraft provides the RAAF with a Lead-In Fighter that is comparable with the Royal Air Force (UK) Hawk T2 Advanced Jet Trainer and ensures the Australian Hawk aircraft is suitable for a fifth generation air force, preparing pilots for fast jets including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The project has involved BAE Systems engineers in the UK and Australia, BAE Systems and RAAF technicians, and industry partners CAE and Cubic Defence Applications Inc have played pivotal roles.
The upgrade includes the replacement of two legacy synthetic training devices with three full-mission simulators provided by CAE and the incorporation of an Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation capability on to the aircraft by Cubic Defence Applications Inc.
BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said:
“With this extremely capable upgraded Hawk aircraft, the RAAF has a world-class Lead-In Fighter that is ready to deliver high calibre pilots for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
“The work undertaken on these aircraft demonstrates the important sovereign capability that we have developed in Australia and which will underpin our sustainment of the F-35 aircraft.”
LIFCAP ceremony images
Hawk Lead In Fighter at LIFCAP ceremony
Andrew Chapman at LIFCAP ceremony
Cath Roberts at LIFCAP ceremony
RAAF at LIFCAP ceremony
Williamtown hangar at LIFCAP ceremony
Hawk flying at LIFCAP ceremony
Hawk Lead In Fighter demo at Williamtown
Crowd watching Hawk Lead In Fighter demo at Williamtown
Hawk Lead In Fighter landed at RAAF Base Williamtown