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Australia: Hawk Lead-In Fighter modification program complete.

| 2019

Australian Minister for Defence, Christopher Pyne MP, announced the completion of the final aircraft in a significant modification program for the Royal Australian Air Force fleet of Hawk Lead-In Fighter aircraft.

Australia Hawk Lead In Fighter modification program complete Royal Australian Air Force (A27-18) BAE Hawk 127 at the 2013 Avalon Airshow (Picture source: Bridgee)

“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.”

The project has involved BAE Systems engineers in the UK and Australia, BAE Systems and RAAF technicians, and industry partners CAE and Cubic Defense Applications have played pivotal roles. BAE's upgrade program 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 onto the aircraft by Cubic Defence Applications Inc.

The aircraft are operated by 76 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown and by 79 Squadron at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth. The Hawk Mark 127 lead-in fighter is a tandem, two-seat jet aircraft. It is used to prepare the RAAF’s fast jet aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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