The final aircraft to pass through a significant modification program for the RAAF fleet of Hawk Lead-In Fighters has been completed.
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. Each upgraded Hawk aircraft provides new training capabilities including simulated radar, electronic warfare, digital mapping, ground proximity warning system and traffic collision avoidance.
“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," BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said.
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne said the milestone was important in ensuring we have a world-class training capability.
“Completion of the aircraft modification program means the Lead-In Fighter training capability is well positioned to support Air Force’s fast-jet pilots for transition to the next generation of fighter aircraft including the Joint Strike Fighter, Super Hornet and Growler capabilities,” Minister Pyne said.
“The aircraft upgrades commenced in 2014, as part of a Lead-In Fighter Capability Assurance Program which also included the delivery of new flight simulators for the Hawk-127 fleet.”
Operated by Numbers 76 and 79 Squadrons at RAAF Bases Williamtown (NSW) and Pearce (WA), the Hawk fleet comprises 33 aircraft and is used to train qualified RAAF pilots to operate the next generation of fighter aircraft.
More details on the Hawk upgrade will be available in the next Defence Week.