A number of Hawk jets are currently over the North Sea off the coast of Scotland conducting aggressor training.

The aircraft (callsigns AGGRSR21 and AGRSOR21) are conducting training designed to simulate enemy forces and provide essential training to fast jet pilots.

The BAe Hawk T.1 is used in a number of roles for the RAF. In this instance, the aircraft are being used by 100 Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, in the ‘aggressor’ role.

This role involves simulating enemy forces and providing essential training to the RAF front-line units. According to the Royal Air Force website:

“The Hawk T1 is used primarily in the aggressor role by 100 Squadron, who provide opposition forces for front-line training in addition to Close Air Support (CAS) simulation to Land units for currency training. The Hawk T1 is equipped to an operational standard and is capable of undertaking a war role.

It has two underwing pylons cleared to carry AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles or a telemetry pod for recording missions to enable post-flight debriefing. In the CAS training role it can carry up to eight 3Kg practice bombs.”

What’s the status of HAWK T1?

The UK had planned to retire the Hawk T1 fleet by 2025, this has now been brought forward.

Key.aero report here that the date is now March 2022.

“The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has since confirmed that the out-of-service date (OSD) for the type will now be March 31, 2022, although the likelihood is that they will stop flying the platform before then.”

The Defence Command Paper released earlier this year, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, states:

“The Royal Air Force will retire equipment that has increasingly limited utility in the digital and future operating environment. This will include rationalising older fleets to improve
efficiency, retiring Typhoon Tranche 1 by 2025, and Hawk T1. We will enhance the new military flying training system with further investment in synthetic training that will deliver more capable pilots more quickly and more efficiently.”

Hawk T1 jets are used in the aggressor role by No. 100 Squadron as explained above and are famous as display aircraft used by the Red Arrows. However, it is understood that the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (the Red Arrows) Hawk T1 jets have been saved from the axe.

According to the Express:

“Though Ministry of Defence insiders have confirmed that the iconic team will not be felled next week, RAF sources insisted its days were numbered unless other streams of financial support could be found urgently. The Red Arrows has arranged a raft of sponsorship deals with some blue-chip brands, ranging from BAE, Barbour and Breitling to Land Rover and Rolls Royce, worth just under a million pounds in total.”

It is not clear what will replace the aircraft in the ‘Aggressor’ role.

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
51 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 months ago

How can the RAF not know what will replace the Hawk in a few weeks time when it reaches its OSD?

Good to know the RAF still practices dogfighting, even though they don’t do it for real these days.

Mark B
Mark B
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Are we making an assumption there will be a replacement for the Hawk?

DRS
DRS
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We are killing here an entire industry I don’t get why we don’t continue with the hawk, used to export it all over the world now it seems death by a thousand cuts. You would hope BAE would be able to push this to existing customer including RAF. Turkey seems to be able to do this now with a home grown effort, S Korea as well etc. etc. The effort a few years ago of advanced hawk with Hindusan seems to have gone to nothing. You would hope that we have a version with a small radar such as Osprey… Read more »

DRS
DRS
2 months ago
Reply to  DRS

News – Aeralis this still looks to be years out if anything is delivered as well.

John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  DRS

The Hawk is way past it’s best, it’s an old design.. Bae Systems should have embarked on a new trainer / light attack aircraft in 2000, supersonic, modular composite construction, reconfigurable fly by wire etc. They could have leveraged a good deal of Typhoon technology to assist them, with the design and engineering team just moving that aircraft into production, they could have got cracking on a new Advanced trainer straight away. Instead, they carried on with the same tired old Hawk airframe. Sales are just about dried up now. It was always going to have a rather ‘finite’ life… Read more »

Bob
Bob
2 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

The US T-38 trainer first entered service in 1961 and is still in service.

John Clark
John Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Hi Bob, the T7 Redhawk is waiting in the wings to replace it and it will likely corner the market too.

Challenger
Challenger
2 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

A search for a private contractor is ongoing, but yes it’s worrying that increasingly the MoD seems comfortable with chopping capabilities before a replacement is found.

Steve
Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

I doubt the MOD is comfortable about it, as it’s there job to ensure the protection of the UK and it’s international interests. However if the treasury tells you that you need to cut costs and do it quickly, then the only way to do so, is cut existing assets and do it faster than you would normally be comfortable with, as osd will be built into the current cost calculations. Fortunately we are not the only nation that is having major financial issues and having to cut corners and additionally we aren’t planning around fighting alone, so all capability… Read more »

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
2 months ago

So that’s 2 then in case we can’t add up.

Steve M
Steve M
2 months ago

Use the Typhoon Tranche 1’s in Aggressor Role 😀

Challenger
Challenger
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve M

Too expensive apparently. Maybe the RAF value training against a different aircraft to the Typhoon as well.

Angus
Angus
2 months ago

With so much going the boys and girls will not know what it is to do the real thing as most future ‘pilots’ will be arm chair warriors. What are they spending all the money they get anyway? Other states manage on a fraction of the funding and provide more upfront. Aussies are a real bench mark, they have not got smaller but certainly have become more capable and are ahead of the RAF (MOD) on most things. Assets are available more when actually used not left in a shed waiting for the day they may be used. The UK… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  Angus

Is there anything positive about the UK military in your opinion?
Why are HM armed forces second rate?
And who do you term 1st rate by comparison?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago

And re reading,, as I read it wrong, but similar question. What is 2nd rate about the UK Defence industry?

Missiles. Ships. Electronics. Sonar. Engines. Radar. And on and on. All worth having I believe.

We are one of the biggest defence exporters.

Angus
Angus
2 months ago

UK Defence Industry sells outside the UK for the most part with projects paid for by the customers. Middle East for the most part but our lads seldom see the benefits of it..Many good purchases have been made for Operations then ditched when it’s over, what a waste of good kit. Been there seen that
..

Angus
Angus
2 months ago

Yes the RN and RM’s. They have always delivered way above their weight. The lads and lassies are the ones that should be getting first rate kit and service conditions. Far to heavy with top brass and to much dithering on what to do for the future. No one knows whats around the corner. We need light, fast but hard hitting outfits that can deliver on what ever they can face (RM’s proved that recently playing up against the USMC) . Not much of the MOD’s kit is fit for purpose (everyone here says so) and we don’t have all… Read more »

steve wallace
steve wallace
2 months ago

HM Forces personal are second to non out there.
The problem is money and how the MOD spend it. We have brilliant designers but industry and our government would rather buy elsewhere if they can save 50 pence.
We never play the long game in this country anymore.
Everything is short term profit to keep the shareholders happy

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
2 months ago
Reply to  Angus

UK is the 2nd largest defence exporter in the world. And we have many capabilities that the Australians don’t. A Nuclear deterrent and a globally deployable blue water Navy come to mind.

Angus
Angus
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

The five largest arms exporters in 2016–20 were the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China.

Please do get ones fact’s right.

Yes the RN can do it, I have been there but still short of kit, enough jets for the carriers, ASW assets and Anti Ship/land attack Weapons. Over stretch I know about but that. Quality (in some bits, but please the T45 power issues for one are a major downer) and you still need numbers if you want to do what you are asking for.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Angus

The UK DSE estimates that the UK is the second largest exporter of defence items worldwide based on value of orders / contracts signed. Between 2011 and 2020, the majority of UK defence exports (60%) went to the Middle East, followed by North America (17%) and Europe (15%).1 Dec 2021

Source – commons library, UK gov 1st December 2021

Last edited 2 months ago by Robert Blay
Richard Graham
Richard Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yep, I concur. Has been widely reported from a number of sources including the BBC…

Always important to get the facts right… 😉

https://www.forces.net/news/uk-remains-second-biggest-defence-exporter-behind-us

Richard Graham
Richard Graham
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

Remember its not just about putting kit into the hands of UK forces, which when all’s said and done is the job of the elected government of the day; its also about sustaining industrial capability now and into the future for the benefit of the economy & those of us living in the UK. Just take the F-35 the world’s largest defence programme. Although led by the US, the UK brings its military aircraft expertise to the development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of the F-35. As a key partner, we hold a 13-15% workshare of each aircraft (excluding propulsion) and we play… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

Well said Richard. Many are quick to put us down when they don’t realise how capable our military industrial base still is. And the value it adds to the wider economy. And many nations would kill for that slice of the F35 programme. And without our knowledge and expertise with Typhoon & F35, Tempest would be even further away from becoming a reality.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
2 months ago

Love that paint job 👍

geoff
geoff
2 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Hey My Lord you read my mind-the flag of the real swashbuckling pirates-not the slimy lot of today. Sort of on subject I read there is a school in the North of England that has abandoned Churchill and Drake as house names in favour of Greta Thunberg and Marcus Rashford! Our house names when I was a kid in the 1950’s were the well known pirates- Drake, Raleigh, Grenville and Frobisher and in my next school St Andrew St George St Patrick and St David!
What can I say?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Ha! Ours were Trojans, Celts, Vikings, Romans, and others I forget!

But we were actually taught history then. Proper history, warts and all, not the doctored woke version schools seem to be doing.

geoff
geoff
2 months ago

Now that is a nice bit of History of which I approve 😂 Others might be Jutes, Saxons, Britons, Picts and Scots!!
Hot in Durbs today-close to 30 degrees and humid.
Cheers my friend

JohninMK
JohninMK
2 months ago

O/T but this morning the Yemini Missile Forces showed one aspect of future air strikes. They hit, at about 1400 miles range, what looks to be accurately, two sites in Abu Dhabi, the airport causing it to close and the industrial centre where the fire is still burning. This was after warnings that they would if the UAE didn’t pull back from attacking in Yemen. Could we have done this?

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 months ago

It will be sad when they go. The Hawk always looked ‘right’. Great success for BAe and Lancashire.

David
David
2 months ago

How does a Hawk T1 replicate what a Typhoon pilot would expect to meet in the skies over a hostile area? Thinking outside the box here and I know it’s pie-in-the-sky but wouldn’t it be possible to source Russian jets from Poland, Germany or even Ukraine (thinking Mig-29, Su-27, etc.,) that we could use instead?

I’m not criticizing the RAF as I’m sure they have good reason in using the Hawk but just a thought…

Trevor
Trevor
2 months ago
Reply to  David

You beat me to it on this one, agree totally. Even acquiring/leasing Mirages or F5s would be a more realistic aggressor and T/W ratio than the Hawk. First generation F18s will probably be available also.

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago

Read an very informative article the other day regards the Tranche 1 Typhoon, I’ll put it up and as usual It will self delete after a few days:comment image

Last edited 2 months ago by Farouk
Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 2:comment image

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 3:comment image

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 4:comment image

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 5:comment image

Farouk
Farouk
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 6: (as mentioned above the entire lot of pictures will self delete by next monday)comment image

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
2 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Cutting the T1’s is going to be a false economy. It will doubtless lead to increased tasking on the remaining T2/T3 airframes. Plus, having additional Typhoons that can ‘only’ do air to air combat might come in handy if UK or allied airspace suddenly becomes cluttered with Backfire, Badger, and Bear bombers.

Paul T
Paul T
2 months ago

Another consequence of retiring the Tranche 1’s early is that these are perfectly capable of being used in Operation Shader,which could have used up some more of their Airframe hours therefore saving the T2 and T3 for bigger and better things.

James
James
2 months ago

Hawk T2 still being kept? Guess they’ll flog those couple dozen to death then

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Doubt it, as T2 is not used in the role the T1s are.
Already previously announced MoD looking for contractor AC.
I’m against it, as prefer assets to be in house and would prefer a bigger T2 buy.
But there we are.

John Stevens
John Stevens
2 months ago

I think they are keeping the T2’s. Could be wrong though.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 months ago
Reply to  John Stevens

Yes, they are. Hawk T2 was bought for advanced fast jet training with 4 FTS, which is unchanged.

They are not used by 100 Sqn, 736 NAS, or the Red Arrows, who operate the T1s and a much larger fleet.

John Stevens
John Stevens
2 months ago

Cheers Sir!

Angus
Angus
2 months ago
Reply to  James

They are only used for training and much of the ‘flying’is done in the sim these days. they will be around a while yet so I’m informed.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
2 months ago
Reply to  James

Hawk T1’s haven’t been used for pilot training for years. Hawk T2 is for fast jet pilot training.

Bob
Bob
2 months ago

Give the Tranche 1 Typhoons to the Arrows.

Expensive yes, but in these days of “fight with what you have” I would choose ten old Typhoons over ten Hawks if the brown stuff ever hits the fan.

James
James
2 months ago

Question to anyone who may know, when the tranche 1 typhoons are withdrawn from service are they likely to be kept in storage? Surely wouldn’t just scrap perfectly good aircraft?

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
2 months ago
Reply to  James

“Surely they wouldn’t scrap perfectly good aircraft”…of course they will…it’s the MOD!
Likely stripped for spares,not that one would believe there’s ANY similarity between tranche 1 and 2 aircraft according to the verbiage regarding obsolescence and so on. A few spare tyres for the shed will be handy though.
AA