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BAE Hawk

The Hawk is an advanced jet trainer manufactured by BAE SYSTEMS and used by the Royal Air Force and other countries.

'' BAE Hawk T.1 trainer

Table of contents
1 History
2 Variants
3 Notes
4 Characteristics
5 External Links


In 1964 the Royal Air Force specified a requirement for a new initial jet trainer to replace the Folland Gnat. The SEPECAT Jaguar was originally intended for this role, but it was soon realised that it would be too complex an aircraft for initial jet training. Accordingly, in 1968 Hawker Siddeley Aviation began the design of a much simpler strictly subsonic trainer, the HS.1182. It was to have tandem seating and would be capable of carrying armaments, which would enable it to be used as a weapons trainer and in light combat roles.

The Hawk proper first flew in 1974. It entered RAF service in April 1976, replacing the Gnat and Hawker Hunter in the advanced training and weapons training roles respectively. The most famous RAF operator is the Red Arrows aerobatic team, which adopted the plane in 1979.

The Hawk gained an additional role from January 1983, when modification of 88 RAF aircraft to carry Sidewinder missiles commenced. The resulting T.Mk 1A variant was intended for emergency use as a point-defence fighter. Hawks are no longer used in this role

The Hawk subsequently replaced the English Electric Canberra in the target towing role. The Royal Navy acquired a dozen Hawk T.Mk 1/1As from the RAF, for use as aerial targets for the training of ships gunners and radar operators.


A fully carrier-capable version of the Hawk was developed for the United States Navy for use in training. This version is known as the T-45 Goshawk. It first flew in 1989 and became operational in 1991. Several modifications were required by the Navy for carrier operations, including improvements to the low-speed handling characteristics and a reduction in the approach speed. The Goshawk was manufactured originally by McDonnell Douglas and later by Boeing.


The stepped cockpit, allowing the instructor in the rear seat a good forward view, was an innovation subsequently adopted by many other training aircraft.


External Links