The UK 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 released today, 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 and famous as display aircraft by the Red Arrows. However the Express reports that the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team have been saved from the axe in a defence review to be published in the week commencing March 22.
“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.”
This defence review was previously described by Boris Johnson as the largest review of its kind since the Cold War.