Aeralis has been tipped to win a contract to replace the Red Arrows’ Hawk T1 jets, it has been reported.
The RAF’s display team have been using the Hawk T1 for more than 40 years. The Red Arrows and their Hawk T1s are shown below.
Marco Giannangeli, Defence Editor at the Express, said here:
“Sources say the RAF has its sites on Aeralis, which has already designed the first British jet-fighter since the 1970s and has been awarded a three-year research and development contract with the RAF. Aeralis will design, develop and deliver the Hawk T1 replacement. Though officially the order date is being played down, given that it will take at least 5 years or longer before the plane is in operational service, there’s an acute awareness that the decision has to be made soon. An announcement is pending and will be made before Christmas.”
Earlier in the year, I reported that Aeralis had agreed a three-year contract with the Royal Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) for research and development into a new modular approach to the design and development of future aircraft.
“The RCO will support the requirements and design review process to gain an understanding of how AERALIS defines the ways in which agile, modular, commercially-driven aircraft design can develop and certify a broad range of future aircraft systems that could support the RAF’s ambition to rationalise its future fleet.”
Aeralis is a UK-based aircraft developer specialising in creating a new class of “transformative military aircraft”. The firm say on their website:
“The new aircraft will be based on a modular system, enabling the company to deliver a range of configurations for different missions by using common fuselage and avionics while switching engines, wings and mission systems. The company has completed phase one and phase two development, with feasibility studies complete and its core team established in preparation to develop a pre-production aircraft with first flight targeted within 3 years. The AERALIS modular aircraft system streamlines the design, development and in-service support processes for military aircraft across multiple training and front-line roles, helping to reduce the complexity and costs of acquisition and sustainment when compared with more traditional approaches.”
“AERALIS is focused on re-inventing how future military aircraft are developed and operated, and we’re delighted to help set the pace and vision for future RAF systems with the Rapid Capabilities Office”, said Tristan Crawford, AERALIS Chief Executive Officer.
“As well as helping to enable rapid, digitally-driven development and the certification of flexible, open-architecture aircraft systems, this supports UK prosperity and the Government goal to champion British innovation. We are creating a significant export and global relationship development opportunity for the UK.”
Air Marshal Richard Knighton, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, commented:
“I’m delighted to hear of the RCO contract with AERALIS. This private aircraft company is adopting an innovative approach that I have not seen before in the combat air sector. Its ingenious and innovative use of modularity, together with applying lessons learnt from the commercial sector offers the potential to break the capability cost curve that has dogged military fast jet programmes for many generations. The design philosophy could be disruptive, providing a means to improve international competitiveness and shift away from expensive bespoke platforms.”
With a view to full-scale production, AERALIS say the project has the scope to directly create over 200 new UK high-value design and manufacturing jobs, supporting a further 3800 in the UK supply chain.
The aircraft recently moved close to a test flight.