Hawk Lead-In Fighter (LIF) provides state-of-the-art fast jet training capability.
The Hawk LIF is the world’s most successful advanced military jet trainer aircraft built on more than 35 years of fast jet training experience. More than 1000 aircraft have operated across 18 countries, preparing more than 20,000 pilots for life in a fast-jet cockpit.
The Hawk Mark 127 Lead-In Fighter is a tandem, two-seater jet aircraft. Australia currently has 33 that have all been recently enhanced to ensure they remain cutting edge and future ready. Using advanced airborne simulation technology, the Hawk is a ‘flying classroom.’
It prepares student pilots to master the controls of combat aircraft and trains the RAAF’s fast jet aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Hawk LIFTS graduates regularly achieve 100% pass rates in their fighter operational conversion courses.
The Australian fleet has achieved around 122,000 hours of pilot training to date at RAAF Pearce in WA and RAAF Williamtown in NSW, where the aircraft are based. Under a performance-based contract, BAE Systems Australia ensures the aircraft are delivered in line with customer requirements and expectations.
As the current platform steward, BAE Systems is committed to delivering value for money on a fully flexible, scalable and upgradable platform. This includes a spiral capability development upgrade process to ensure the platform and training systems continue to meet Australia’s current and future fast-jet training requirements.
This will ensure that the Hawk Lead-In Fighter remains an outstanding and cost effective training solution throughout its whole-of-life. Results from recently completed Full Scale Fatigue testing showed life remaining in the Hawk airframe would allow the aircraft to continue operations well into the late 2040s. The intent of this significant testing program, as part of Defence Standards, was to demonstrate the structural integrity of the airframe to five times its intended life. You can read more about the results here.
The Hawk LIF program is also supported by a supply chain of more than 180 Australian businesses, with a combined direct and indirect workforce of more than 1000 people. The BAE Systems Hawk jet trainer will celebrate two decades of service to the Royal Australian Air Force in 2021.