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The BAe Hawk

v1.0.2 / 01 apr 04 / greg goebel / public domain

* The British were leaders in aircraft design through the Second World War, but suffered a slow decline in their aerospace and defense capabilities after the war due to economic constraints and political indifference. In recent decades, British aerospace and defense manufacture has revived, aggressively exporting military aircraft and advanced weaponry. One of their biggest successes is the British Aerospace (BAe) "Hawk", a trainer and light combat aircraft that has been adopted by many of the world's armed services, including the US Navy. This document provides a history and description of the Hawk.


[1] HAWK ORIGINS
[2] HAWK T.1 / T.1A
[3] HAWK MARK 50 / MARK 60 EXPORT VARIANTS
[4] T-45 GOSHAWK
[5] HAWK MARK 100 / MARK 200 / HAWK LIFT / HAWK 128
[6] SUMMARY TABLE, SOURCES, & REVISION HISTORY

[1] HAWK ORIGINS

* In the early 1960s, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) was operating two jet trainer aircraft: the Hawker "Hunter T.7" two seat side-by-side trainer, and the Folland "Gnat T.1".

The Hunter trainer was well liked, but it was also expensive to operate; had limited endurance; and its side-by-side seating arrangement was increasingly seen as outdated. Side-by-side seating is well suited for primary training, since it gives the instructor a close view of what the student pilot is doing, but is poorly suited to advanced training, as it creates a cockpit environment that is dissimilar to that of the single-seat aircraft the student is presumably being trained to fly.

Although the Gnat T.1 was appreciated for its agility and good handling and achieved recognition as the mount for the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic display team, it suffered from high maintenance overhead; a cramped cockpit that could not accommodate tall pilots, and left the flight instructor straining to see forward through the back of the student's head; and no weapons training capability.

In 1964, the RAF released a draft requirement for a trainer to replace both the Hunter trainers and the Gnat T.1, with the designation "Air Staff Target (AST) 362". Transition to the new trainer was to begin in the mid-1970s. In step with the spirit of the times, the new trainer was to have a top speed of Mach 1.5. It hadn't been realized yet that the benefits of a supersonic trainer did not really outweigh the drawbacks of higher purchase and operation costs.

Then international politics intervened. The French were also interested in a new trainer to replace their Lockheed T-33 "T-birds" and Dassault Mystere IVs, and a round of typically complicated Anglo-French negotiations followed. These discussions led off in one direction to the Anglo-French SEPECAT Jaguar, which was originally conceived as a trainer and light strike aircraft. Ultimately, the Jaguar became very much a competent strike fighter, but was simply too much aircraft for flight instruction. Tandem seat Jaguars were built, but they were used for operational conversion, not flight instruction.

Another offshoot of this round of discussions were a series of proposals made to the RAF in 1968 by Hawker Siddeley Aircraft (HSA) for a jet trainer. By this time, the RAF's focus had shifted somewhat towards a replacement for the Huntington Jet Provost T.5 trainer, and HSA was also looking very seriously at the broader international market to replace aging trainers such as the Jet Provost, T-33, and Macchi MB.326. The estimated market for new jet trainers was estimated at thousands of aircraft, excluding the US, which rarely "bought foreign", and the Eastern Bloc, where political barriers ruled out the sale of Western aircraft.

HSA gave their studies the designation "HS.1182". The new trainer was to have armament capability so that it could be used for weapons training, as well as for light combat duties. Early concepts envisioned a single-engine, tandem-seat aircraft with straight, low-mounted wings, with some resemblance to the Macchi MB.326 trainer.

In 1969, the British Ministry of Defense gave the ball another push by issuing requirement "AST.397" for a tandem seat, single engine, subsonic jet trainer with weapons capability and an unprecedented 6,000 hour fatigue life. This specification was open to international competition and was by no means written around the HS.1182 specification, but gradually the competitors, in the form of aircraft such as the Dassault-Dornier Alpha Jet and proposals by British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), fell out, and in October 1971 the HSA proposal was accepted. This led to a production contract early the next year for 176 trainers, with the first to be delivered in late 1976.

With the beginning of full scale development, HSA assigned Gordon Hudson as chief designer, and confusingly assigned Gordon Hodson as the assistant chief designer. Both men were ex-Folland personnel. The design was given the name "Hawk", although traditionally trainers had, logically but a bit stuffily, been named after educational establishments. However, "Hawk" was a simple name, and easy to put in flight logbooks; the RAF Staff College emblem featured the Egyptian hawk god Horus; and apparently there were officials who thought that naming aircraft after universities was a bit stuffy, too, or at least wouldn't have much appeal for export sales.

The design that was finalized during development modified earlier concepts by providing a slightly swept wing, with the engine intakes mounted above the wing roots. Shoulder-mounted intakes had been considered earlier, but wind tunnel tests indicated some stability problems with that configuration. In any case, the design team had good reason to feel pleased with the machine, as it had clean and elegant lines.

The first "Hawk T.1", painted in snappy red and white colors, flew on 21 August 1974, with test pilot Duncan Simpson at the controls. A number of defects were discovered in flight test and corrected, but these were ordinary development and teething problems, as the Hawk's design was fundamentally sound.

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[2] HAWK T.1 / T.1A

* The Hawk is not merely a good-looking aircraft. It is agile and handles well, with clean responsiveness to controls, and is regarded as great fun to fly. It is capable of transonic speeds in a dive, which apparently came as something of a surprise to its designers, and has long range and endurance. It is economical to operate and has an excellent safety record. The Hawk is also a relatively quiet aircraft as military jets go, and ambient cockpit noise is low, improving communications between instructor and student.

As mentioned, the Hawk is a tandem-seat trainer with a low-mounted, slightly swept wing, a single engine with inlets above the wing roots, and a conventional tail assembly. It has tricycle landing gear, with all gear assemblies featuring single wheels. The nose gear retracts forward, while the wide-track main gear hinges in the wings towards the fuselage. The aircraft is of conventional construction, built mostly of aluminum alloy, with some use of magnesium to save weight. Interestingly, the Hawk was the first British aircraft to be designed in metric instead of English units.

The wing features outboard ailerons and inboard double slotted flaps. The tailplane is all-moving, while the tailfin has a rudder. There are also twin fixed ventral fins under the tail; these were significantly shorter in early prototype machines. There is a single airbrake in the belly in front of the two ventral fins. A single airbrake cost less than twin airbrakes, but it cannot not be extended on landing. Flight controls are powered by duplicate hydraulic systems.

The aircraft was designed to allow fit of five stores pylons, with one on the centerline and two on each wing, though RAF trainers never use more than one stores pylon on each wing. The extra attachment point on each wing was specified to permit flexibility for export sales. The inner attachment points are plumbed for drop tanks. For weapons training, the Hawk is fitted with a centerline gun pod, similar to those fitted to British Harriers, with a single 30 millimeter Aden Mark 4 cannon with 120 rounds, and a stores pylon under each wing for munitions. Pylon loads include practice bomb carriers and SNEB rocket pods, or a pair of 455 liter (120 US gallon) drop tanks. External load in practice is restricted to 680 kilograms (1,500 pounds).

Although the Rolls-Royce "Viper 632" turbojet was initially considered as the powerplant, the final choice was the Rolls-Royce / Turbomeca "Adour 151" non-afterburning turbofan with 23.15 kN (2,360 kgp / 5,200 lbf) thrust. The Adour had been developed for the Jaguar. Although the Adour cost much more than the Viper, the Adour was a more modern engine that had better fuel economy; had an estimated 95% parts commonality with the afterburning Adour 102s used in the Jaguar; and was regarded, correctly as it turned out, as offering more improvement potential than the mature Viper engine, while still having been proven in the Jaguar.

The Adour engine drops out of the Hawk's belly for service, and in principle can be replaced in one and a half hours. The Hawk was built with serviceability in mind, and almost a third of the aircraft's surface is covered by access panels. A Microturbo 047 Mark 2 Gas Turbine Starter / Auxiliary Power Unit (GTS/APU) is installed above the engine to permit self-starting and to assist in relights after an in-flight flameout. If the aircraft loses power in flight, a ram-air turbine automatically pops up in front of the tailfin to provide emergency electrical power.

The cockpit is very comfortable in comparison to the Gnat's, and the back seat is stepped up to give the flight instructor a clear view over the top of the student's head. There is a windscreen between the front and back seat to protect the back-seater from windblast in case of a bird strike or other front-canopy failure. The canopy is single-piece and hinges open to the right. The T.1's cockpit controls are analog and relatively simple, and include a Ferranti ISIS gunsight.

While HSA had wanted to use the new lightweight Folland-Saab "Mark 4GT" ejection seats, the RAF specified the bigger and heavier Martin-Baker "Mark 10B" rocket boosted zero-zero ejection seats to maintain commonality with other RAF aircraft. The larger Martin-Baker seats required a slight fuselage stretch from the original paper design to permit their accommodation. The canopy is taped with miniature detonation cord to shatter it before ejection.

   HAWK T.1:   
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   spec                    metric              english
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   wingspan                9.39 meters         30 feet 10 inches
   wing area               16.69 sq_meters     179.60 sq_feet
   length                  11.85 meters        38 feet 11 inches
   height                  4 meters            13 feet 1 inch

   empty weight            3,635 kilograms     8,010 pounds
   max loaded weight       8,340 kilograms     18,390 pounds

   maximum speed           1,040 KPH           658 MPH / 572 KT
   service ceiling         15,250 meters       50,000 feet
   range (internal fuel)   2,400 kilometers    1,490 MI / 1,295 NMI
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

* Only one pre-production Hawk was built. Five more were used for development, but they were later brought up to production standard and passed on as part of the RAF contract. HSA retained an early-production Hawk as a company demonstrator, with this aircraft undergoing a wide range of mutations over the years.

The first Hawk T.1 to be formally accepted by the RAF was delivered in November 1976, with the last delivered in March 1982. As might be expected, some deficiencies were uncovered after the Hawk went into service. Some defects, such as a nosewheel that swiveled poorly, were corrected in later development; and some economy measures, such as low-cost radios, proved unacceptable in practice and had to be upgraded later. By the time of the last delivery, the Hawk was the "BAe Hawk", as HSA had been absorbed into the British Aerospace group in the spring of 1977.

The first user was the RAF flight instruction unit at RAF Valley on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales, followed by other RAF organizations such as the weapons training units at RAF Brawdey and Chivenor, and also units of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. Over time, defense consolidation has tended to accumulate the Hawk at RAF Valley, which is now the largest single British user of the Hawk.

In some cases the maneuverable Hawk is used in "aggressor" training, fitted with radar signature enhancement devices to simulate a larger aircraft. RAF Hawk trainers previously sported a lively blue-white-red color scheme, but now have a racy all-black color scheme.

The most prominent RAF unit flying the T.1 is the "Red Arrows" flight demonstration unit, which carries on a long tradition of exciting crowds at international airshows and public exhibitions flying formations with nine red-painted Hawks. Eleven Hawks were delivered to replace the Red Arrows' Gnat T.1 in 1980, and continue in service with the team. The Hawks of the Red Arrows have minor engine modifications to improve throttle response, and carry a 318 liter capacity (84 US gallon) smoke generator pod that stores diesel oil to generate white smoke, along with dyes to color the smoke red or blue. The smoke generator pod is derived from the Aden cannon pod.

* Although the British Hawks are focused on the training mission, 88 of them were modified between 1983 and 1986 to possess a secondary air defense function through carriage of two US-built AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles (AAMs). These Sidewinder-compatible Hawks are designated "T.1A" and include those flown by the Red Arrows. Apparently the Red Arrows fly T.1As on the rationale that if shooting were to suddenly break out, it might be wise for a group of some of the RAF's best pilots to be flying something they could fight with, though presumably not before their mounts got a quick new paint job to something less attention-getting than bright red. Other T.1As were painted in the standard RAF air defense light gray color scheme. For simplicity, this document will not further distinguish between the T.1 and the T.1A.

British Hawks have now been in service for over two decades, and unsurprisingly upgrades have been performed. In the mid-1980s, the Hawks were suffering from levels of mechanical strain and fatigue far greater than expected, leading to a re-winging program that began in 1988 and ended in 1995. The shortened fatigue life was apparently not due to any flaw in design, but changes in training practice that increased the stress on the aircraft. Another problem arose when a Hawk had a dispute over right-of-way with a duck that demonstrated the windscreen wasn't hard enough. In 1986, an upgrade program was begun to install thicker windscreens.

The RAF has had plans to upgrade 80 T.1s with new center and rear fuselages built to the export Hawk 60 standard, discussed below, though the status of this effort is unclear. The RAF has now committed to buy a quantity of new-build Hawk trainers with modern "glass cockpits" and more powerful engines, a matter which is discussed later in this document.

* Along with aircraft upgrades, the RAF has acquired simulator facilities to go along with their Hawks, opening the "Hawk Synthetic Training Facility" at RAF Valley in 2000. The facility is actually owned and operated by BAe Systems, with funding provided by the British government under a long-term contract arrangement.

The facility includes a cockpit procedures trainer, a Hawk instrument flight simulator, and two full-dome flight simulators. The flight simulators include high resolution displays using a satellite imagery database, and can be linked with each other or with other compatible flight simulators. The simulator system reduces the amount of actual flight hours required in a training course, and also provides a safe environment for initial aircraft orientation preparatory to actual flight time. It is also used by the Red Arrows for procedures training.

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[3] HAWK MARK 50 / MARK 60 EXPORT VARIANTS

* HSA believed the Hawk would do well in the export market, projecting sales of a total of 1,000 aircraft over 20 years and scaling their production capability accordingly. The "Hawk 50" export series featured an "Adour 851" turbofan, an export version of the the Adour 151 used in the British T.1. They also had a modified tailcone, twin underwing pylons per wing, avionics improvements, the ability to carry larger drop tanks of 590 liter (156 US gallon) capacity, and were qualified for 30% greater takeoff weight than the Hawk T.1.

The major potential competitor was the Dornier-Dassault Alpha Jet, which worryingly flew a year before the Hawk prototype. The Alpha Jet beat the Hawk in a large sale to Belgium and in smaller sales to Togo and the Ivory Coast. The Alpha Jet appeared to have a lead at the time, and as a result HSA's engineering and marketing departments were not on good terms.

The Hawk's first breakthrough in international sales was in December 1977, when Finland placed an order for 50 "Hawk 51s" to replace their Fouga Magister trainers. The Finnish Hawk 51s had a unique avionics fit, used a Saab RS-2 gunsight, and were fitted with a VKT 12.7 millimeter (0.50 caliber) gun pod instead of the 30 millimeter Aden cannon pod carried by the T.1. Interestingly, Finnish Hawks are in some cases fitted with Russian R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) heat-seeking AAMs; and they are also used for reconnaissance, carrying Vinten optical-infrared camera pods.

The first four Hawks in the Finnish order were built in the UK, with the other 46 assembled from kits by Valmet of Finland. The Finns bought seven more Hawks in 1990 to replace attrition. These new aircraft had minor refinements and were designated "Hawk 51A". All seven were built in the UK.

The big Finnish order seemed to close the gap between the Hawk and the Alpha Jet, but in 1978 the Alpha Jet won orders in Morocco and Nigeria. However, BAe kept pace with a sale of twelve "Hawk 52s" for Kenya and eight "Hawk 53s" for Indonesia. The Indonesians eventually bought a total of 20 Hawks in four batches. The Kenyan Hawks were the first of the breed to be fitted with a drag chute, to reduce landing roll under "hot and high" conditions.

* In 1979, BAe decided to come up with an improved baseline "Hawk 60" export model, featuring the uprated Adour 861, with 25.4 kN (2,590 kgp / 5,710 lbf) thrust, and a slightly improved wing. The first sale was in early 1981, when Zimbabwe ordered eight Hawk 60s. These aircraft featured an enlarged drag chute. Only a few days after the first four arrived in country, however, insurgents threw explosive charges down their air intakes. One Hawk was completely wrecked; another was repaired in Zimbabwe; and the other two had to be shipped back to the UK for rebuild. In 1990, Zimbabwe ordered five improved "Hawk 60As".

In 1981, Dubai ordered eight "Hawk 61s" for training, light strike, and reconnaissance, using Vinten camera pods for the reconnaissance role. Dubai later bought an additional Hawk 61 as a replacement. These Hawk 61s were cleared for operation with the French Matra Magic heatseeking AAM. In 1982, Venezuela placed a large order for "Hawk 62s", but this deal fell through when the Falklands War broke out.

* After the Dubai sale, the Hawk proved very popular with other Middle Eastern countries. Abu Dhabi ordered 16 "Hawk 63s" in 1983, of which 14 were later upgraded to the "Hawk 63A" standard, featuring the further uprated "Adour 871" engine with 26.24 kN (2,675 kgp / 5,900 lbf) thrust and a "combat wing", both of which were developed for the Hawk 100 and 200 operational combat variants of the Hawk series, which are described later. Abu Dhabi also ordered five "Hawk 63Cs" that were similar to the Hawk 63A, with deliveries in 1995.

Kuwait bought 12 "Hawk 64s" in 1983, which were cleared for operation with four AIM-9L Sidewinder AAMs. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, six of the Kuwaiti Hawks escaped to Bahrain and six were captured by the Iraqis. The Iraqis returned the six Hawks after their defeat in the Gulf War. The captured Hawks were unsurprisingly a little worse for wear after being in Iraqi custody, but they were refurbished with help from BAe and returned to flight status.

In 1985, Saudi Arabia ordered 30 "Hawk 65s", with improved wheels and brakes, followed in 1994 by an order for 20 Hawk 65As, which apparently were fitted with the Adour 871 and the combat wing. They fly with the Royal Saudi Air Force flight demonstration team, in very pretty green and white colors.

* Switzerland bought 20 "Hawk 66s" in 1987. Although this wasn't the biggest Hawk purchase by any means, it was a significant sale for BAe in terms of firmly establishing the Hawk's reputation. With the Swiss, no one could seriously suspect that corrupt practices had played any role in the aircraft's selection, and the Swiss tend to buy military aircraft as a long-term investment, to put it mildly, having been the very last military users of such classics as the Hawker Hunter and the De Havilland Vampire. In fact, the Hawks were bought to replace Vampire T.55 trainers. If the Swiss bought the Hawk, everyone knew that they had thought the matter over very carefully first.

The first aircraft in the Swiss batch was built in the UK and delivered, but the remainder were provided as kits that were assembled by the Swiss Federal Aircraft Factory in Emmen. They featured an Adour 861A-03 engine, with minor modifications relative to the standard Adour 861 to meet Swiss Air Force requirements. The Swiss Hawks provide advanced flight training after students acquire basic flight skills in Pilatus PC-7 turboprop trainers. The Swiss Hawks are painted in a crisp red and white scheme, with the Swiss white cross insignia bringing a Swiss Army knife to mind, and so an informal label of "Swiss Army Jet".

The Swiss order was followed in 1990 by a South Korean order for 20 "Hawk 67s", which featured the combat wing, a steerable nosewheel, and a long nose. The long nose was also derived from the Hawk 100, but does not accommodate the sensor suite of the Hawk 100, instead storing additional avionics and having a rounded end. The long, rounded nose gives the Hawk 67 a clearly unique appearance among all Hawk variants.

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[4] T-45 GOSHAWK

* If the Swiss purchase of the Hawk 66 was a promotional opportunity for BAe, it was overshadowed by an even more impressive win through a sale to the US Navy (USN) of a Hawk variant, the "T-45 Goshawk", for the demanding role of carrier-based flight training. Not only was the USN a customer with generally high standards, but the Hawk had to go against powerful American competitors who had a political edge, and against the general disinclination of the US military to buy foreign-made systems.

The "Buy American" bias meant that BAe needed to have an American partner to front the deal, but fortunately BAe already had such a potential partner the form of McDonnell Douglas Corporation (MDD -- now absorbed by Boeing, but the name MDD will be used here to avoid confusion). HSA had acquired a good relationship with MDD with license production of the Harrier, and this relationship carried over when HSA was swallowed up in BAe.

* In 1975, the USN began a study for a new carrier-capable jet trainer to replace the T-2C Buckeye and TA-4J Skyhawk. Capability was important, but procurement, operational, and life-cycle cost were emphasized. BAe pitched the Hawk to the USN in 1978, leading to a formal partnership agreement with MDD in 1980, and selection of the Hawk from a wide field of competitors in 1981.

However, the Hawk had never really been designed for carrier operations, and the T-45 Goshawk, as the USN trainer was designated, was by no means just another tweaky variant of the Hawk. Carrier operation meant more robust and wider landing gear with catapult attachment; arresting hook; good low-speed flight characteristics; and other substantial changes. The changes were so extensive that the first Goshawk prototype did not fly until 1988, the same year a production contract was awarded. USN evaluation of the initial prototype resulted in a long list of deficiencies that had to be corrected. Most of the items were nitpicky, but there was a small set of critical difficulties, which became known as "the Big Five".

Further delays were introduced by a decision to move production from the Douglas plant in California to the McDonnell plant in Saint Louis, Missouri. Carrier trials did not take place until 1991. Even then, the aircraft's troubles were not over, with one being lost in 1992 in a very wild landing caused by a landing gear defect, the pilot ejecting safely. All Goshawk prototypes were grounded until the problem was properly reviewed. Flight instruction with the Goshawk did not begin until 1994.

* The Goshawk is still clearly a Hawk, but it is a considerably modified Hawk with clearly distinctive features. In the final production form, the changes include:

Engine fit for the Goshawk turned out to be a complicated issue. Lower-thrust versions of the Adour were considered at first to provide longer engine life, but unsurprisingly the changes made to the Hawk to produce the Goshawk substantially increased weight, and so the USN opted for a more powerful engine.

   T-45 GOSHAWK:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   wingspan                9.39 meters         30 feet 10 inches
   wing area               16.69 sq_meters     179.60 sq_feet
   length                  11.97 meters        39 feet 3 inches
   height                  4.27 meters         14 feet

   empty weight            4,265 kilograms     9,400 pounds
   max loaded weight       5,790 kilograms     12,760 pounds

   maximum speed           1,000 KPH           620 MPH / 540 KT
   service ceiling         12,875 meters       42,250 feet
   range (internal fuel)   1,850 kilometers    1,150 MI / 1,000 NMI
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

In 1991, very late in the Hawk's development, the US Congress attempted to push the Navy to adopt the Garrett F124-GA100 turbofan engine, in order to steer more business to American industry. On paper, the F124 was a much more modern engine than the Adour, offering a higher thrust to weight ratio, longer life, and other advantages -- but the phrase "on paper" was critical, since no aircraft had been fitted with the new Garrett engine. Navy Goshawk program officials were appalled at the prospect of having to take another "zig" in a development program that had already had its fair share of "zags". After intense debate, the Secretary of the Navy ruled that the Goshawk would keep the Adour.

Interestingly, some sources say the Goshawk is not intended for weapons training and is never fitted with a gun pack or stores pylons. This is borne out by pictures of the aircraft, none of which seem to show such kit, but other sources say the Goshawk was qualified for stores carriage and release during development. The two facts may not be inconsistent, since it is logical that even if the USN didn't want to use the T-45 for weapons training, the service may still have wanted the capability.

* In flight, the Goshawk looks much like any other Hawk trainer, but on carrier approach, with everything "down and dirty", the Goshawk looks very much a carrier aircraft, with its wide undercarriage spread open, leading-edge slats out, twin airbrakes extended, and arresting hook hanging down.

The Goshawk is built with MDD as the prime contractor, BAe serving as the airframe subcontractor, and Rolls-Royce serving as the engine subcontractor. MDD provides a "complete package" for Goshawk operations in the form of the "T-45 Training System", which includes maintenance, service, and a Hughes simulation system. Despite the delays and problems, the USN is very pleased with the end product. The very severity of the evaluation ensured that the Goshawk thoroughly satisfied their requirements.

The USN originally expected to acquire 302 Goshawks, but given the end of the Cold War the total is currently scheduled to be no more than 187, and possibly no more than 170. Deliveries have been running at about a dozen aircraft a year.

The first 83 production Goshawks were T-45As, which were followed in 1997 by the "T-45C" with a digital glass cockpit layout featuring twin multifunction displays (MFDs); a head-up display (HUD); a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite navigation receiver; and a MIL-STD 1553B digital data bus. The Goshawk was originally to have been fitted with a glass cockpit, but the USN had to drop that plan due to cost constraints. Later, the glass cockpit requirement was revived and implemented as a "Cockpit 21" effort in 1994, leading to the T-45C. Existing T-45As are expected to be upgraded to the T-45C standard.

The reason why the variant designation jumped from T-45A to T-45C was because the USN had considered purchase of a proposed "T-45B" variant for a time, which would have been basically a conventional Hawk with a USN cockpit and no carrier capability. The USN had wanted the T-45B to get an earlier training capability, but abandoned the idea in 1984.

* By the way, the reason the T-45 was given the name "Goshawk" instead of retaining the name "Hawk" was not out of any nationalistic desire to differ with the British. After all, the US adopted the Harrier from the British without a name change. The T-45 was named "Goshawk" to avoid confusion with the Hawk surface to air missile, another item in the US military inventory. Anybody who's ever been in any military organization knows that if a paperwork screwup is possible it will happen, and taking measures to avoid such difficulties is prudent. The possible scenarios for screwups between Hawk aircraft and Hawk missiles makes for some amusing speculation.

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[5] HAWK MARK 100 / MARK 200 / HAWK LIFT / HAWK 128

* The Hawk had originally been designed as a trainer with a weapons training capability that could also be used as a light combat aircraft, but wasn't really fitted for demanding combat duties. By 1981, BAe had investigated what needed to be done to turn the Hawk into a more formidable warbird, resulting in the "Enhanced Ground Attack (EGA) Hawk", which featured combat avionics borrowed from the US General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. BAe offered this variant to Venezuela in 1981, but the deal fell through. However, the idea wasn't dead by any means, and the EGA Hawk emerged as the "Hawk 100" the next year, which featured:

The Hawk 100 demonstrator first flew in October 1987. While the Hawk 100 was at least as much warbird as trainer, BAe had also been considering, on an off-and-on basis, a single-seat Hawk that was all warbird, which emerged as the "Hawk 200".

The first Hawk 200 demonstrator actually flew in May 1986, well before the Hawk 100 demonstrator, but was lost two months later in an accident that killed test pilot Jim Hawkins, who either became disoriented or ironically blacked out while demonstrating the aircraft's agility. The Hawk 200 has the Adour 871 engine, combat wing, and some of the other combat kit of the Hawk 100, but along with the single seat configuration, which resulted in an entirely new fuselage from the cockpit forward, also features a still taller tailfin; an optional fixed inflight refueling probe; and the Northrop-Grumman AN/APG-66H pulse-Doppler X-band multimode radar, with ten air-to-air and ten air-to-surface modes, derived from the AN/APG-66 used on the F-16A/B.

Cockpit layout is similar to that of the Hawk 100 to ease operational conversion. Interestingly, twin 25 millimeter Aden cannon were built into the nose of the Hawk 200 demonstrator, but production Hawk 200s use the 30 millimeter Aden cannon pack instead. It appears the 25 millimeter Aden ran into significant development problems.

* Abu Dhabi was the first customer for the new, more warlike Hawks, placing an order of 18 "Hawk 102s" in 1990, with deliveries in 1993. In 1990, Oman bought a batch of four "Hawk 103s" and twelve "Hawk 203s", which were also delivered in 1993.

Malaysia ordered ten "Hawk 108s" and eighteen "Hawk 208s" in late 1990, which were delivered in 1993 through 1995. The Hawk 208s were the first Hawks to be sold with a flight refueling probe. In 1993, Indonesia ordered eight "Hawk 109s" and sixteen "Hawk 209s", with an option for 16 more Hawk 209s, which was exercised. All 40 new Indonesian Hawks were delivered by 1998.

In 1993, Australia selected the "Hawk 127" for an advanced fighter trainer requirement and ordered 33, with the first 12 to be delivered from the UK and the rest assembled in Australia from kits. Deliveries were in 2000 and 2001. The Hawk 127 features cockpit details compatible with the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet to provide training for Australian Hornet pilots. Interestingly, one of the losing competitors for this deal was the MDD T-45 Goshawk.

In a particularly intriguing deal, in 1997 the Hawk was selected for use in a Canadian "training for hire" scheme. The "NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC)" program is a joint venture of the Canadian government and Bombardier Aerospace Corporation, and offers its services to friendly governments on a contract basis. 18 "Hawk 115" trainers were initially ordered for NFTC, with an additional three trainers ordered in 2000 when Singapore signed up for the program. These Hawks are painted in a striking dark blue color scheme, with tail insignia consisting of a red Canadian maple leaf overlapped by a NATO four-pointed star. BAe has signed an extended contract to provide repair and overhaul support for these aircraft. NFTC will also operate 24 turboprop tandem seat Raytheon T-6A-1 Harvard II trainers for introductory flight instruction.

* BAe Systems went on to develop an improved trainer variant derived from the Australian Hawk 127 with the designation "Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT)". The Hawk LIFT is intended to provide training for new-generation combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon or Saab Gripen, and features substantially improved cockpit and avionics.

The Hawk LIFT's cockpit has three color flat-panel MFDs, HOTAS controls, and a HUD. Cockpit systems will be modified to suit the customer, for example providing HUD symbology consistent with the front-line aircraft for which flight training is conducted. Hawk LIFT also features a GPS-INS navigation system; a new AlliedSignal APU; an airframe "health & usage monitoring system (HUMS)"; two mission computers; and an optional inflight refueling probe. BAe Systems claims that the updated aircraft will have four times the fatigue life of the Hawk T.1.

   HAWK LIFT:
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________
 
   wingspan                9.94 meters         32 feet 7 inches
   wing area               16.7 sq_meters      179.67 sq_feet
   length                  12.43 meters        40 feet 9 inches
   height                  3.98 meters         13 feet 1 inch

   empty weight            4,400 kilograms     9,700 pounds
   max loaded weight       9,100 kilograms     20,065 pounds

   maximum speed           1,000 KPH           620 MPH / 540 KT
   service ceiling         13,565 meters       44,500 feet
   range                   2,520 kilometers    1,565 MI / 1,360 NMI
   _____________________   _________________   _______________________

   Hawk LIFT wingspan includes Sidewinder missiles.
Rolls-Royce is also offering a new Adour 900 that could be used by Hawk LIFT. The Adour 900 has exactly the same thrust as the existing Adour 871, but the Adour 900 has "full authority digital engine controls (FADEC)" and twice the lifetime of the Adour 871. Interestingly, Rolls-Royce was partly pushed towards the Adour 900 by the Garrett F124 flotch that arose late in the T-45 Goshawk's development program.

South Africa signed a deal with BAe in 1998 for 24 Hawk LIFTs. Sales went slow for a while after that, but in early 2003 Bahrain signed a deal for six Hawk 127 trainers. This was followed in the summer of 2003 by a bigger deal, with the British government also decided to buy up to 44 "Hawk 128" trainers, another variant of the Hawk LIFT series, to complement the current Hawk 1/1A machines. The old Hawks are still perfectly airworthy, but they have antique analog cockpits. The new machines will have modern digital cockpits, making them more appropriate as trainers for RAF Eurofighter pilots, and will have uprated and modernized Adour 951 engines. The initial order was for 20 aircraft, with initial deliveries in 2008, with an option for 24 more.

The British buy of new Hawks also knocked down the last obstacles to a buy of 66 Hawk "Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs)" by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to to replace IAF Hindustan Aircraft LTD (HAL) Kiran and PZL Iskra trainers. The deal had dragged out for almost two decades, being most recently delayed by sanctions imposed on India after that nation conducted nuclear tests in 1998, and then by war tensions with Pakistan. The first 24 will be built by BAe, with the remaining 42 license-built by HAL in India. First deliveries are expected in 2007, with all machines to be delivered by 2010.

While the original projections of sales of 1,000 Hawks over 20 years didn't materialize, the actual sales of well over 800 to date are nothing to be unhappy about, and in fact sales of the Hawk far outpaced those of its early competitor, the Alpha Jet, which is now out of production while Hawks continue to roll off the manufacturing line. Current competitors, such as the Aeromacchi MB.339 and the Czech Aero Vochodony L-59, lag Hawk sales by a wide margin. Furthermore, with continued improvements such as the Hawk LIFT, the Hawk remains a very competitive aircraft for future sales.

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[6] SUMMARY TABLE, SOURCES, & REVISION HISTORY

* The following table gives a Hawk production summary, with entries providing the variant, number of new-build aircraft, and comments including user description. The T-45 Goshawk is not included in the list as it is not built by BAe and the production quantities are something of a moving target.

   _____________________________________________________________________

   T.1       176   UK Hawks.
   T.1A        -   88 T.1s upgraded with Sidewinder capability.

   Hawk 50    50   Finnish Hawks with strike / recce capability.
   Hawk 51     7   Improved replacements for Finnish Hawks 50s.
   Hawk 52    12   Kenyan Hawks, with drag chute.
   Hawk 53    20   Indonesian Hawks.

   Hawk 60     8   Hawks for Zimbabwe.
   Hawk 60A    5   Improved Hawks for Zimbabwe.
   Hawk 61     8   Hawks for Dubai with strike / recce capability.
   Hawk 62     -   Proposed Hawks for Venezuela.
   Hawk 63    16   Hawks for Abu Dhabi.
   Hawk 63A    -   14 Abu Dhabi Hawks updated with new engine and wing.
   Hawk 63C    5   Hawks for Abu Dhabi, similar to Hawk 63A.
   Hawk 64    12   Kuwaiti Hawks, with four-Sidewinder fit.
   Hawk 65    30   Saudi Hawks.
   Hawk 65A   20   Saudi Hawks with improved engine and wing.
   Hawk 66    20   Swiss Hawks.
   Hawk 67    20   South Korean Hawks with long nose.

   Hawk 102   18   Hawk 100s for Abu Dhabi.
   Hawk 103    4   Omani Hawk 100s.
   Hawk 108   10   Malaysian Hawk 100s,
   Hawk 109    8   Indonesian Hawk 100s.
   Hawk 115   21   Hawk 100s for Canadian international training program.
   Hawk 127   33   Australian Hawk 100s with advanced cockpit.
   Hawk 127    6   Hawk 100s for Bahrain.
   Hawk 128   44   Hawk 100s for the UK.
   Hawk AJT   66   Indian Hawk 100s.

   Hawk 203   12   Single-seat Hawk 200s for Oman.
   Hawk 208   18   Malaysian single-seat Hawk 200s.
   Hawk 209   32   Indonesian single-seat Hawk 200s.
   _____________________________________________________________________

   TOTAL     681
   _____________________________________________________________________

* Sources include:

Some of the details on Hawk LIFT were obtain from a reference article on the German FLUG REVUE website, which by the way is highly recommended. BAe Systems, in contrast, is very stingy about giving out information on the Hawk on their website.

* Revision history:

   v1.0   / 01 jun 00 / gvg
   v1.0.1 / 01 apr 02 / gvg / Minor cosmetic update.
   v1.0.2 / 01 apr 04 / gvg / Minor tweaks & updates.
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