A number of Typhoon and Hawk jets are currently over the North Sea near Hull conducting aggressor training.
This massive ‘dogfight’ is designed to simulate enemy forces and provide essential training to the RAF front-line units.
A number of Typhoon and Hawk jets are currently over the North Sea near Hull conducting aggressor training. pic.twitter.com/UjlYc0ImIK
— George Allison (@geoallison) August 19, 2021
The Hawk T1 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.
Recently however, the UK revealed plans to retire its entire fleet of 76 Hawk T1 trainer aircraft. This leaves only 28 Hawk aircraft in British service, the T2 variant. The Defence Command Paper, 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 used in the aggressor role by No. 100 Squadron, it is unclear what will replace them.
RAF training getting underway this afternoon over the North Sea.
4x Draken Europe Falcon 20s pic.twitter.com/HA4cxgFy12
— Intel Air & Sea (@air_intel) August 19, 2021
Anyway, 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.”
In addition, a Dassault Falcon 20 operated by Draken International is present. Below is a tweet from a previous exercise explaining how these aircraft operate.
The Draken Falcon-20 doesn't just provide Electronic Warfare / Attack training for RAF Typhoons… It also simulates threats for rotary-wing and C-130 crews.
Its really cool job, as you quite rightly guessed, is posing as a rougue airliner for QRA intercepts.
— RAF Lossiemouth (@RAFLossiemouth) February 24, 2021
Typically in many scenarios, Hawk jets support Dassault Falcon 20DC aircraft acting as long-range anti-ship bombers.