BAE hosts talks on Hawk future

BAE Systems

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FUTURE developments on a Fylde coast-built jet trainer which helps safeguard hundreds of jobs in the area are being discussed at an event being hosted by BAE Systems.

The new production line for the Hawk aircraft started this year, and sees detail manufacture and sub-assembly work taking place at the Brough site in East Yorkshire, the production of wings at Samlesbury and final assembly and flight test at Warton. The Hawk programme sustains 1,000 jobs at BAE Systems and more throughout the supply chain.

BAE is hosting the 10th Hawk User Group which this year is being held in Bangalore, India, with a theme of ‘Technology, Training and Through Life Support.’

Representatives from 11 nations are attending the HUG, with a variety of pilots, squadron commanders and equivalent staff officers from their headquarters – each of them work every day with the Hawk aircraft.

The BAE Systems team is led by Michael Christie, senior vice-president India, who believes the bi-annual event is crucial to create a level of shared knowledge.

He said: “The Hawk User Group (HUG) provides an opportunity for Hawk users from around the world to share their experiences in a relatively informal setting, feeding the ongoing conversation about technological improvements and safety issues.

“Almost 1,000 Hawk aircraft have now been sold and it has trained more than 20,000 pilots. The fleet has flown over 3.5 million hours so together we have a lot of knowledge of not only the aircraft but also the advanced jet training environment.

He added: “The introduction of the latest Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers to several countries in the 2000s has seen a step change in training methods which makes the exchange of information even more important to ensure that the best value is obtained.

“For example, for the Indian Air Force there is an opportunity to exchange information with other users of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. There is also an opportunity to help shape future developments.”

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