The Royal Air Force has temporarily halted Hawk T1 operations while an investigation is carried out into a recent crash.
A spokesperson said:
“Safety is our paramount concern. The RAF has decided to temporarily pause Hawk T1 operations, as a precautionary measure, while investigations are ongoing. We will continue to review the situation as further information becomes available.”
Earlier in the week as part of the ‘Defence Command Paper, effectively just a defence review, it was announced the UK would retire its fleet of 76 Hawk T1 jets.
According to the Royal Air Force website:
“The BAe Hawk T Mk1 is a fully aerobatic, low-wing, transonic, two-seat training aircraft that is still used in a number of roles for the RAF. 100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, fly the Hawk T Mk1 in the ‘aggressor’ role, simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units. In addition to this, the Sqn carries out close air support training to British Army units, defence engagement tasks and participates in numerous overseas exercises throughout the year. The Mk1 is also in use with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton, in addition to the flight test and evaluation unit at MoD Boscombe Down.”
Additionally, as the Royal Navy’s maritime aggressor squadron, Hawk T1 aircraft also provide airborne threat simulations that allow for realistic training at sea.
According to the Royal Navy website:
“Equipped with Hawk T1 twin-seat fast jet aircraft, 736 Naval Air Squadron’s primary role is to provide simulated ship attacks for Royal Navy and NATO units in the run-up to deployment. The maritime specialists use their jets to replicate the threats from enemy fighter aircraft and high-speed sea-skimming missiles.
736 NAS also fly missions for students at the Royal Navy School of Fighter Control. Aerial battles between friendly and enemy jets are set up for the students to contend with, providing the live element of their training syllabus. The Hawk jets, marked with the distinctive lightning bolt of 736 NAS, can often be found beyond the maritime environment; from close air support for land forces, to simulating attacks on helicopters to train the crews in fighter jet evasion.”