The MOD has committed £372m across four contracts for the continued in-service support of Hawk fast jet training aircraft, securing around 700 UK jobs until 2020.
The fleet of Hawk TMk1 and TMk2 aircraft are used by the UK armed forces for military flying training prior to conversion onto frontline fast jet aircraft, such as Typhoon or the future F35 Lightning II, and for a variety of other Royal Navy and Royal Air Force training requirements.
They are also the aircraft of choice by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows – one of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams. The five year support contracts will play a crucial role in providing a range of services to the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force’s Hawk aircraft at bases around the country including locations in Wales, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Somerset and Cornwall.
Contracts worth almost £300m have been awarded to BAE Systems to provide in-service support and Post-Design Services for Hawk TMk1 and TMk2. The contracts include design advice and modification and obsolescence management, with the company using RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, as its main support service hub.
In order to deliver the contracts, BAE Systems and its maintenance partner Babcock, has around 470 people based at RAF Valley, 65 at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and 55 at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall. It also has 65 people based at Brough in East Riding of Yorkshire and around another 20 across its sites in Warton and Samlesbury in Lancashire.
A £79m contract has also been placed with Rolls-Royce to provide support for the ‘Adour’ engines which power the Hawk aircraft, with testing, repairs and overhauls taking place at RAF Valley and in Filton, Bristol sustaining 40 jobs across both sites.
Minister for Defence Procurement Philip Dunne said:
“The Hawk is a world-class training aircraft for our future fast jet aircrew. Pilots currently flying Typhoons and Tornados with such precision targeting Daesh in Iraq and Syria to keep Britain safe first learnt their skills in the Hawk. It will also be used to train the pilots that will fly our new F-35s, some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.
“The contracts to support these vital training aircraft are a boost to British industry, sustaining hundreds of jobs across the UK – all made possible by our growing Defence budget and our £178bn investment in buying and maintaining the best possible kit for our Armed Forces.”