Friday, December 8, 2023

These are Hawk jets – in use for over 40 years, the current equipment has been modernized

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The Finnish Air Force has about 30 Hawks, with whom they train as fighter pilots, among other things, flying jets and practicing air combat tactics.

The BAE Systems Hawk is a single-engine, two-seater jet trainer that has been used by the Finnish Air Force since the early 1980s. Hawks are made in the UK.

It is being told that the Hawk jet of the Air Force crashed on Monday afternoon in Kaiuru, Central Finland.

Read more: IAF’s Hawk jet crashes in central Finland – pilot survived thanks to ejection seat

There were 32 Hawks in service before Monday’s accident, of which nine are the Mk 51 variant, seven are the Mk 51A variant and 16 are the Mk 66 variant. Latest machines purchased from Switzerland, used in 2007.

All Air Force Hawks have been modernized: the traditional gauges in the cockpit have been replaced by modern screens. As Puolustusvoimat says on its website, they harmonize the machines’ systems with the Hornet fleet.

“In 2018, the so-called Hawk Link system has also been introduced in machines that have undergone cockpit modernization. The system transmits information on the location of machines between Hawks and displays it on the multifunction display and the HUD reflector sight, allowing the modern battlefield Conditions that simulate the operational environment enable realistic air combat training,” writes Pulolustsvoimat in its equipment presentation.

Air Force Hawk Mk 66.  This Hawk variant was acquired in Finland in 2007.

Air Force Hawk Mk 66. This Hawk variant was acquired in Finland in 2007. Photo: Puolustswoimat

Development work on the Hawk began as early as the 1960s, when aircraft manufacturer Hawker Siddeley began designing a variant of the machine. The prototype made its first flight in 1974.

The machine is designed to have a solid structure and withstand strong movements. It reaches a speed of Mach 0.8 in horizontal flight and Mach 1.5 in a dive. In this way, pilots can gain experience in so-called transonic flights before moving on to supersonic aircraft.

There have been 12 accidents in the Hawk fleet of the Air Force so far, in which five pilots have died. A total of 13 aircraft have been destroyed.

In 2013, two Hawks crashed during the Air Force’s arc battle exercise in Leistijärvi. The pilot of the other crashed plane was killed in the accident. The cause of the accident was confirmed to be human error of the pilot’s perception. The inquiry team, in its final report in 2014, noted that there were deficiencies in the radio communication of the pilots.

Hawk is a single engine and two seater jet trainer.

Hawk is a single engine and two seater jet trainer. Image: Defense Force

Wingspan: 9.39 m

Length: 11.90m / 11.85m

Height: 3.99m / 4.00m

Tigepano: 3 810 kg / 3 635 kg

Maximum take-off weight: 7,350 kg / 7,347 kg

Powerplant: Rolls-Royce Turboméca Adour Mk 851 / Mk 861 bypass engine, thrust 23.10 kN (Mk 851) / 25.35 kN (Mk 861)

Maximum speed: less than 1,038 km/h

Altitude: 14 500m

Armament: 30 mm Aden cannon in tanks mounted under the fuselage, up to two infrared missiles in wing hangars

Equipment: Additional fuel tanks, air sample collection tanks or smoke pods can be installed on the wing hangar.

Source: Defense Force

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