Hawk flies for longer [ID18D3]

09 November 2018

Deliveries of an initial batch of an upgraded version of the Indonesian air force's BAE Systems Hawk 100/200 fleet are under way, providing the light attack/trainer aircraft with a refurbishment that will extend its operational life.

Of the 32-strong Hawk fleet operated by the Indonesian air force, eight are under contract to be upgraded, which includes the aircraft being stripped for maintenance, with the aim of extending the life of the fleet that was brought into service in the 1980s/1990s out to 2030.

Michael Salkeld, regional director for BAE Systems International, told the Show Daily that this work is being carried out under a contract signed in 2017. He added that a navigation system is also being added to the Hawks.

The ambition is to upgrade all of the aircraft to this new standard, although for now only these first eight are under contract to be modified.

The company claims there are more tangible requirements for the acquisition of a new fleet of Hawks elsewhere, although there is no reason why Indonesia would not consider a new-build buy, particularly considering the air force is looking to bolster its fighter fleet and maintain a capability of a minimum of 150 combat aircraft.

Salkeld noted that Indonesia could benefit from the newest T2 version of the Hawk and it would be an "excellent buy", through which it would receive a fourth-generation capability that includes enhancements such as a glass cockpit. The Hawk is typically offered as a complementary aircraft to the Eurofighter Typhoon, and Salkeld noted that the company could offer this to Indonesia again if requirements called for it.

This follows the company's involvement in a fighter acquisition that led to the Sukhoi Su-35 - 11 of which are on order - being contracted in February 2018.

Additionally, the company is open to offering technological expertise for the KF-X/IF-X next-generation combat development being jointly carried out by Indonesia and South Korea. BAE (UK Pavilion) has partnered in this way with Turkish industry via a government-to-government commitment for the so-called TF-X fighter development.

"We would be delighted to offer aircraft technology," Salkeld said. "As a company, the number of systems we have for F-22 and F-35 is not always acknowledged."

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