The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the Royal Air Force (RAF) has initiated a comprehensive Capability Investigation process to explore the future of combat aircrew training, including the procurement of successors to the Hawk T2 aircraft.

This investigation aims to assess options for aircraft, simulators, and a combined live/virtual training approach.

The findings from this Capability Investigation are eagerly awaited later this year, as they will shed light on the potential costs and timeline for the Hawk T2’s replacement training solution.

The information came to light in the following exchange. John Healey, the MP for Wentworth and Dearne, asked on 6th March 2024,

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of successors to the Hawk T2 aircraft.”

James Cartlidge, Minister of State (Ministry of Defence), answered:

“The RAF has already started its standard Capability Investigation process into the future of combat aircrew training; this comprehensive review will include the approach to the procurement of the replacement of the current Advanced Jet Trainer capability. The investigation will consider options for aircraft, simulators and associated combined live / virtual training, such that we can continue to deliver a world-class training capability for the UK Armed Forces. The Capability Investigation’s findings are expected later this year and will provide evidence on likely costs and timing of the replacement training solution to the Hawk T2.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago

“deliver a world-class training capability” Hmme the one that cannot deliver enough pilots in spite of queues of bods out of the doors wanting to be pilots? Where flying desks is the order of the day and where more people leave part way through because it is so glacial that their years are up before they become type qualified…..that world class? Or have I missed something? What we have ATM is a world class waste of resources with odd bottlenecks and strange decisions driven by odd accountancy conventions where bods spends years doing desk jobs they didn’t sign up for… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
18 days ago

If the ominous signs on the Horizon are true, we need to kick it up a gear and fast.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

It is ridiculous.

It is far faster to train the many willing pilots than to buy more aircraft.

If it came to conflict RAF would be saying [privately], ‘crews are exhausted can’t keep it up’……

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
18 days ago

We need to do both. Stop the withdrawing of service of the Typhoon T1s would be a start and properly assess if it is feasible to upgrade them to take the new ESA radar. If it can be done on time and on budget. Leave the upgraded T1, to defend the U.K. freeing up the T3 and T4 for frontline hostile space combat.
Given recent history. Banking on buying tempest will be a foolish mistake and if Tempest does arrive on time. Plenty of countries will be happy to buy a gen 4.5 jet

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
18 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Fleets within fleets just drain resources and money. £2.35Bn is being spent on upgrading T2/3 fleet. Enhancing capability provides many more options across the whole fleet.

Stokey
Stokey
16 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Fleets within fleets is just a load of Bo**cks used when they have cut the number of aircraft types to minimum. There are no plans at present to upgrade the T2s to the same standard as the T3s Co there will be another fleet within a fleet so let’s scrap the T2s The T1 is more than capable for its present role and the Spanish have fixed the obsolescence issues already and they are still chucking donkeys from church towers according to Al Murray. People need to wise up if the T1s go their numbers will not be replaced. So… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
18 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

It can’t be upgraded to T3 standard Michael, Tranche one can be upgraded to a quisi T2 standard apparently, but not apparently at a reasonable cost…. It was always a ridiculous gaff that the base tranche 1airframe wasn’t capable of being upgraded.. Let’s face it, even a humble early 1980’s built F16A can be structurally upgraded for thousands of hours of additional service and have it’s avionics updated to close on block 70 standard…. Yet a Thypoon that was developed 10 years later and is an order of magnitude more expensive, can’t be.. The Hawk T2 was a political solution… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
18 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I cannot disagree but that is not how our politicians think.
To me it is better to tack onto the end of current T4 run and keep cost effective jets , with a world class ESA radar

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
16 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

You won’t find any F16As upgraded to the blk 70 standard.

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Note I said near block 70 standard…..

Point being it’s an incredibly flexible platform able to be upgraded and refurbished over and over again, while the vastly more expensive Thypoon can only be upgraded at a snails pace at huge expense…

I the case of the tranche 1 jets, we as tax payers paid a fortune for, reduced to produce with half their design life remaining….

It’s piss poor.

Last edited 15 days ago by John Clark
Robert Blay
Robert Blay
14 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

But we aren’t the only nations doing that. Others have retired T1’s. The French have retired early Rafales. The USAF are retiring early F22s. Early Gripen’s have gone. They can be upgraded, at huge expense. F16 has the advantage of mass production over 40+ years.

John Hartley
John Hartley
14 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Tell that to Taiwan.

Jonathan
Jonathan
18 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I would rather see a new tranche four typhoon buy..to replace the T1s…this would give use a group of new airframes with lots of hours just incase the tempest is delayed ( which it will be)….the majority of the present typhoon fleet will be knackered and out of hours before tempest comes along. But I would not withdraw the T1 until they are replaced by a new buy of airframes….we are in a pre war state…that means nothing should be withdrawn unless it has been replaced….

Last edited 18 days ago by Jonathan
Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
18 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I agree but until the politicians get real about defence. Every penny is a max security prisoner . We need to think here and now not bank on a jet that is bleeding edge tech and exists only in a computer. Although the Japanese partnership is encouraging

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
18 days ago

Things have improved drastically in the last 18 months. The hold wait time from completing the Hawk T2 phase, to joining the Typhoon OCU for example is less than a month. We also have capacity in the system to train new Ukrainian aircrew.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I’m really pleased to hear that.

What was going before was ridiculous and a waste of passion and enthusiasm never mind money.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago

What about the T1? Really a joint program or purchasing someone else’s trainer is the only proper options.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There aren’t many T1 left now.

Frank
Frank
18 days ago

Mostly Red Arrows I believe……….. There were 175 T1’s in the RAF many years ago….. That’s a tale in itself and just makes it clear just how far we have fallen since….. Cut’s Cut’s and more Cut’s….

Hugo
Hugo
17 days ago
Reply to  Frank

The T1s were of no use as trainers, their cockpits were outdated, they had no radars so couldn’t exactly perform an air defense role either. And its actually cheaper to lease out the aggressor role.

Frank
Frank
17 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Oh…… So we bought 175 of them and they were of no use ? …. how odd. 🤔

Hugo
Hugo
17 days ago
Reply to  Frank

What I mean is in a modern context that’s why they were of no use.

John Hartley
John Hartley
17 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

There are some 100+ series Hawk, that are either available, or will be in the next few years.

Gary
Gary
18 days ago

Aeralis ?

Frank
Frank
18 days ago
Reply to  Gary

It’s a concept modular design being proposed by a combination of different companies and Countries…. I’ll bet it comes to nothing.

Chris
Chris
18 days ago
Reply to  Gary

Never going to fly. The RAF should buy T-50 knock down kits from south korea to assemble at BAE Wharton. The F-50 variant could be used for low cost air policing and point defense, but that would make too much sense.

Dahedd
Dahedd
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

That or the new Saab/Boeing Redtail.

Hereward
Hereward
18 days ago
Reply to  Dahedd

Alenia M346 Master maybe?….already used by Israel,Italy and Poland. BAe had some input into the flight system.

John Clark
John Clark
17 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

The M346 would be my choice, a proven solution….

Chris
Chris
17 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Way less performance than the T-50. The T-50 has near F-16 kinetics.

John Hartley
John Hartley
17 days ago
Reply to  Chris

M346 is cheaper to operate than the T-50.

Chris
Chris
17 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

No it’s not. An engine overhaul runs over a million dollars, the M346 has two, and relatively obscure engines. The F404 is one of the most widespread and reliable engines ever built.

John Hartley
John Hartley
16 days ago
Reply to  Chris

All the public domain info, is that M346 is cheaper to operate than T-50.

John Hartley
John Hartley
16 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Air international, March 2024, page 76, ” Despite its twin engine configuration, the M346 is said to enjoy 20% lower Maintenance Man Hours per flying hour than the T-50″.

Chris
Chris
14 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Maintenance man hours =/= maintenance cost. Notice the acrobatic wording. Poland is ditching the M-346 for the T-50.

The T-50 has a real motor and real combat kinetics. The M-346 is a warmed over subsonic trainer with obscure engines designed for an embargo’d Taiwan jet that never matured. In specific context, the engines of the M-346 came to be, because the customer (Taiwan) could not get its hands on the F404.

Buy the real thing, not the imitator. The RAF is known for making terrible short signed decisions, so maybe you’ll get to see your way.

John Hartley
John Hartley
13 days ago
Reply to  Chris

What do you want to do? Poland is not ditching the M346, it is being pragmatic. M346 is cheapest for training, but if you want a light combat aircraft to fight Russia, then the extra cost & capability of the FA-50 is worth it to them.

Hereward
Hereward
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

It seems a decent plane and inspired by the F16 which is probably no bad thing. Shame we can’t develop our own from the Hawk the way the French squeezed every last drop of potential from the Mirage.

Chris Gooding
Chris Gooding
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Totally agree.. south Korea 🇰🇷 TA 50 would be cheaper than trying to develop our own .. could also be used as a advanced aggressor training.. I’m a big fan of this aircraft but I’m also a big fan of the Gripen.. 48 T 50 aircraft would be cheap. A couple of simulators.. also 20 FA 50 so they can be used as advanced training and red arrows..
Still love to have Saab Gripen as E & F variants to replace the 32 tranche 1 typhoons used in QRA and aggressor roll.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Chris Gooding

48 T50’s and a couple of simulators. 48 T50s would not be cheap. And we will need far more than a couple of simulators. Flying training and ongoing frontline training now use simulators in a much wider scope.

Last edited 17 days ago by Robert Blay
JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Warton

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago
Reply to  Gary

The Lego aircraft. If it happens as advertised I will be amazed. Hard enough getting one aircraft into service. Never mind one that is actually 5 aircraft that will all require individual testing and certification. Jack of all trades but master of none I think.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

People seem to think Aeralis is about swapping the wings between flights and having the same aircraft fill multiple roles simultaneously, but it isn’t. The idea is that the you buy a fleet of aircraft and can then convert them in a few weeks to move to the different roles as required. Say you have a larger than usual group reaching final training and you won’t be able to handle it, then you take 10 or so of the basic trainer with a month to spare and you change the engines out. Or an airframe gets old and isn’t rated… Read more »

DaveyB.
DaveyB.
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

The airframe swap concept is still flawed aerodynamically. I have yet to see how they will solve this major issue?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
16 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB.

No idea, but Aeralis’ do seem to have thought about it more in the last 2 years than in their entire previous existence. I suppose it’s confirmation bias for me; I want Aeralis’ to work, so I imagine it does. If it did work it would be great, but as you say there are hard limitations to the speed of “swapping” (hardly, more a rebuilding with modules) if you want an actually flyable aircraft in each role. What they offer is great, but they haven’t really shown us what needs to be done whilst promising 2026 first flight (presumably the… Read more »

DaveyB.
DaveyB.
16 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I’ve read through their bumpf a few times now. I truly would like this to work, as I hate being a naysayer. But in this context they are over reaching! If they kept the airframe as a basic jet trainer, the airframe design they are promoting is more than suitable. But as an advanced trainer, the airframe is too small, its no bigger than a Hawk. So will have exactly the same issues of trying to fit the necessary avionics in a package that wont fit and therefore be reliant on emulations of radar, IRST etc. So it can’t be… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB.

So in other words they’re basing a 2030s jet trainer off a 2000s jet trainer with none of the improvements since? I understand now, that’s a pretty major design/concept flaw.

George
George
18 days ago
Reply to  Gary

Exactly, it’s there waiting for the first orders. The thing is a modern marvel and so versatile.

Frank
Frank
18 days ago
Reply to  George

Nope…. It’s just a concept.

George
George
18 days ago
Reply to  Frank

I don’t think concepts can be wind tunnel tested. Even without proper investment and a sense of urgency the first flight is planned for 2026.(Reportedly just announced.) It could be sooner if the MOD/RAF cracked the whip.

Frank
Frank
17 days ago
Reply to  George

Concept Prototype then, that is yet to fly.

Peter S
Peter S
17 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Just like Tempest then except BAE has already been granted £2b of taxpayers’ money and so far produced some videos and a mock up, just like Aeralis’.

DaveyB.
DaveyB.
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Bit different as BAe alone have over a 1000 people working on FCAS, not to mention Italy and Japan.

Scooter
Scooter
17 days ago
Reply to  Gary

How many Hawk replacements will the RAF buy?, no more than 40 if they include replacing the Red Arrows current fleet. What’s the point of having a bespoke aircraft when it will be considerably cheaper to buy an aircraft already in service – Redtail, Golden Eagle or M346?

Last edited 17 days ago by Scooter
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago

One option given the time scales would be to develop trainers along with the tempest countries that work to speed up the process of preparing for tempest pilots. Costly process making new aircraft.
I don’t know what Japan and Italy plan to use as their trainers? Perhaps just use what they are using.

Hereward
Hereward
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Italy uses the M346 Master, the Japanese the Kawasaki T-4 although they will probably be in the market for a new trainer fairly soon as it was introduced in 1988.

Matt
Matt
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

That’s actually not a bad shout Monkey spanker. That way, any potential customers are buying into an Ecosystem that takes a pilot from simulator training to trainer-jet and finally to combat jet. Why not sell a whole package instead of just a jet? It could even open up opportunities for countries in the program to share experience, instructors, exchange pilots, and strengthen cooperation for future programs etc.
Cheers M@

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
18 days ago
Reply to  Matt

Sorry to bring it back to an unpopular topic, but: Aeralis really seem to be pushing the “Basic jet to combat jet” concept. One of their self-proclaimed “Key Challenges” on their website is “Training and operational support aircraft must keep pace” with frontline aircraft. I think from their perspective it means having a Tempest-style fully digital cockpit and AR training, which would be helpful on its own, but could also apply to using it for lightweight combat, especially the UAV configurations, like a Global Hawk with endurance exchanged for performance. Obviously at the moment flight skills themselves are becoming less… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

If and I’m still sceptical but hopeful AERALIS can work and be made at a decent price and then compete in the market it’s will be good to see.
Never before has a plane been able to accomplish the goals they are aiming at. What makes a good basic trainer makes a poor advanced trainer.
I still don’t see how bolting different bits onto a centre fuselage won’t just be creating new aircraft each time with all the problems associated with new aircraft. Even simple changes require so much testing on current aircraft.

Pacman27
Pacman27
18 days ago

Look no further than a gripen, loads of UK content and a good back up to the fighter force.

Louis
Louis
18 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

That is not a successor to Hawk T2. Gripen is more expensive than an F35A, even the US can’t afford that.

Tobias
Tobias
17 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Where have you found the information that Gripen would be more expensive than F35A?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Too expensive and complex for the training role.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago

Never understood why BAE hasn’t developed a successor to Hawk. It has been one of their most successful products. Development costs of a sub/transonic trainer are far lower than a supersonic combat aircraft.
If T2s are to remain in service until 2040, there is plenty of time to design and build a new aircraft. Hawker Siddeley funded Hawk out of their own resources and development and production ran without major problems, on time and on budget.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Because that was based on a 1970s business model. BAE don’t see the value in similar aircraft production. The money is in systems/avionics and support packages. Or high end like Typhoon/F35.

Bob
Bob
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Companies don’t want to invest their own capital these days. Why should they when they can get the mugs who hold our tax money to finance it?

JF
JF
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

What makes you think they aren’t working on it? Tempest is meant to be operational in the mid 30’s, the demonstrator flies much sooner. Tempest will have a cockpit and flight controls never seen before by fast jet pilots, as well as use so many new ‘peripherals’. I’d think they would be working on a new trainer.

Of course with F35 meant to be in service for a very long time, I’d also expect an upgrade to some hawks to just have a similar digital cockpit.

Chris
Chris
17 days ago
Reply to  JF

I doubt Tempest will ever fly.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
18 days ago

They should just purchase the Boeing-Saab T-7 Red Hawk aircraft which seems ideally suited for the UK

Crabfat
Crabfat
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

The USN/USMC are looking at a replacement for the BAE/MD Goshawk. The Red Hawk is in the frame, along with the Leonardo M-346 and LM TF-50. But perhaps we should look a little nearer home and reduce our reliance on the US.

DaSaint
DaSaint
18 days ago

Replacement has Boeing/Saab T-7 written all over it.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago
Reply to  DaSaint

Not so sure. We originally intended to use Jaguar as a trainer but settled on Hawk as a lower cost option. T7 looked a bargain in the USAF contract but Boeing will lose $billions unless a price increase is agreed. Most air forces, including USN, haven’t thought the extra costs of a supersonic trainer are justified. UK defence exports look substantial but have become quite narrowly based, depending heavily on sales of Typhoon and Hawk. To stay in the game, we need to have more than a single platform to offer. We really can’t afford to let aerospace go the… Read more »

DaveyB.
DaveyB.
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Sadly the Aeralis is a revamp of the Alpha jet and not wholly inspiring. Swapping from a single engine to a twin engine configuration, but also including replacing the low speed wing with a high speed wing. Sounds good on paper, but will be a flight control law nightmare to write and validate. Plus does it mean that when using fuel to rebalance the CoG, some of the fuel can’t be used, as its acting as ballast? It’s always better to keep things simple, by having two classes of trainer. Where each can be specifically tailored for their required purpose.… Read more »

Suffolk Flyer
Suffolk Flyer
18 days ago

Just don’t give BAE Systems another opporunity to rip off the MoD. Hawk T2 was a conventional procurement that has resulted in a failed FJ pipeline and UK MFTS has proved to be a shambles with a poor choice of supporting aircraft. The Grob 120TP is an excellent EFT/BFT option that should be followed by the M346. In an ideal world we would bin the T2 and the Texan T6 and take military flying training back in house. When will we ever learn what matters if we are to secure UK defence in the face of a growing Russian threat… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
13 days ago
Reply to  Suffolk Flyer

Don’t blame BAE for a problem with a RR engine.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
18 days ago

On a related note. The deliberate interference with Grant Shapps aircraft should not go unanswered.
A significant step in the Ukraine aid budget and access to more sophisticated toys should be an adequate response.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Perhaps shapps will now understand how important military spec aircraft are and appreciate how a simple thing can cause massive issues

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I wouldn’t hold your breath. But if Sunak is ousted and Mordient replaces him. We will hopefully finally have a PM that understands that Health, education, etc mean zero if the country is not properly defended.

Mark
Mark
18 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

And even if that happens what exactly do you think changes? At best she would have one more financial statement in Autumn, assuming an election wasn’t called before that. The Tories are out of time and energy to make any major changes on anything at this point.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark

She could set the defence budget trajectory which Labour would be foolish to reverse given the current climate.

Hugo
Hugo
17 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Forces net article said they’re already working on modified aircraft to protect against stuff like Russian interference

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
17 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Good old fashioned inertial navigation would compensate for loss of Sat Nav. With modern laser gyros. They would be a lot more compact and accurate.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
17 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

It is still a deliberate attack on a senior UK politician and should not be allowed to go with a response.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
17 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Perhaps giving senior politicians a taste of what is like to be in the armed forces with inadequate kit is what is needed.
Take them for a spin in a T23 in the Red Sea and shoot down a few drones and then tell them there’s only 10 Ceptors on board because they can’t afford the other 22….
AA

TR
TR
17 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

The “deliberate interference” was just GPS jamming, it wasn’t targeted on his jet it’s just what the Russians do jamming GPS around Kaliningrad to prevent it being used for targeting them.

Karl Kerr
Karl Kerr
17 days ago

What are the odds that the future replacement will be a non British product?

Frank
Frank
17 days ago
Reply to  Karl Kerr

100%…. Why would we buy a handful of Bespoke built Trainers just to train a dozen or so Fighter Pilots per year…. Our Fighter strength is at an all time low….. It’s shocking just how low…..

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
17 days ago

Oh dear, oh dear. Look, if the UK accepts that it needs an aircraft design and manufacturing capability, and it needs a simple, small, low-cost, manned jet initial trainer for the RAF, then why go to the expense of re-inventing the wheel? Use the appropriate level of technology for the job. i.e. build 100x (Folland) Gnats. Stick an iPad in ’em with Google Maps or something. Job done. If you want to get fancy use a more modern engine, or even something with re-heat. Be fancy and stick a Radar in just for fun and link to a pair of… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
17 days ago

Waste of money.

Suffolk Flyer
Suffolk Flyer
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

We build ’em in this country but buy non-UK design. It’s called a reality check.

Mark B
Mark B
17 days ago
Reply to  Suffolk Flyer

The next ‘British’ aircraft will be designed to have the capability to fly unmanned. Let’s just cut to the chase and skip pilots. We could and should plough any money for this project straight into Unmanned systems. This is not 1940.

John Hartley
John Hartley
17 days ago

Airbus Spain wants to build a new jet trainer. Could BAE/UK join that project 50/50?

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
16 days ago

Aviation Week is reporting that the Swiss Patrouille Suisse aerobatic team will disband after the 2027 display season as its F-5 Tiger’s are too old and expensive to support longer. The magazine expects that this announcement will now trigger similar disbanding (at least temporarily) announcements for other European air force display teams. In particular the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows (flying 50-year-old BAE Systems Hawk T1s), Spain’s Patrulla Aguila team (CASA C-101 Aviojet) and Italy’s Frecce Tricolori (Aermacchi MB339). Only the Italian team is currently slated to get new aircraft before the 2030’s – the M345. Given the current financial and manning… Read more »

Jimmy Jock
Jimmy Jock
16 days ago

Why cant the RN have all the F35B’s for the carriers and the RAF F35A’s

Mark
Mark
15 days ago
Reply to  Jimmy Jock

Money…

Nat White
Nat White
15 days ago

I feel that given the current state of our defence budget and the sheer level of incompetence demonstrated over the last 30 years or so, with the procurement of new equipment programmes from design phase through to bringing into service. The RAF and MOD should just look to procuring the Boeing-Saab T-7 Red Hawk, as an off-the-Shelf purchase to just, guarantee a capable modern Jet Training Aircraft is actually brought into service relatively on time and probably closer to budget than we could buying in house and License built with UK specific systems if absolutely necessary. My point here being… Read more »

SD67
SD67
14 days ago

I don’t see how a Hawk T2 can train for a 6th gen fighter, so when MOD say “T2 leaving service in 2040” that must surely mean its replacement is starting to phase in around 2035.
If we were smart we’d just roll it into GCAP, use it as a lead in to bed down some of the tech and manufacturing processes.

In terms of Typhoon T1 – IMHO we should have gifted the lot to Ukraine

John Hartley
John Hartley
14 days ago
Reply to  SD67

The advanced Hawk offered to India in 2017, was able, as an option, to have a cockpit set up similar to the F-35, so the Hawk could be a lead in trainer to F-35. Sadly, nothing came of it.