On December 16 1980, the first Hawk aircraft arrived in Pori, Finland and began its role as the flying classroom which has prepared pilots for life in a fast jet cockpit.
The first aircraft, HW-302, was flown from Dunsfold, UK to Pori, Finland by pilot Major Paavo Janhunen and engineer Major Keijo Koko on December 16, 1980.
Today, Hawk remains at the heart of the Air Force's training pipeline and the jet used by its display team, The Midnight Hawks.
Patria has delivered continual upgrades ensuring the aircraft are capable of delivering the next generation of pilots, whilst also reducing the cost of keeping the fleet flying, and BAE Systems has been proud to work alongside Patria during this period.
The upgrade work undertaken by Patria means the entire Hawk fleet, including 32 Hawks with upgraded cockpits will be part of the Finnish Air Force Fleet until the mid-2030s.
The upgrades led by Patria delivered airborne simulation technology in to the cockpit, turning the analogue systems in the earlier model of Hawk operated by the Finnish Air Force in to a truly digital aircraft fit to train pilots for the future battlespace.
Paul Hitchcock, Managing Director Finland, BAE Systems:
“The technology in Hawk has delivered a seamless transition from basic training to the front-line for air force pilots across the globe and it is a source of immense pride for us that Finland continues to deliver its very best fast jet pilots using Hawk.
“The upgrades carried out by Patria have ensured the life-cycle of the Hawk fleet has been extended and it will remain the Finnish Air Force’s training platform of choice.
"We recognise the capabilities of Patria and we look forward to developing our relationship as it supports its partner the Finnish Air Force for many years to come.”
Martti Wallin, President, Aviation Business Unit, Patria:
“Patria’s mission is to ensure the operational readiness and mission capability of the customer fleet and at the same time enhance cost effectiveness of the training concept with the unique sustainment solution built for the aircraft.
“Our design and engineering capabilities have been applied with great success to extend the service life of the Hawk Mk51 fleet.
“Structural integrity and damage repair analysis followed by structural health monitoring and preventive modifications have been instrumental for the continued use of the platform.
“Systems upgrades have helped to maintain the effectiveness of Hawk as a training device to meet the evolving needs of Finnish Air Force over the past four decades.”