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UK sets out Hawk recovery plan

The RAF has 28 Hawk T2 jets at RAF Valley in Wales that it uses for the Advanced Fast Jet Training programme. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has outlined how it intends to solve the ongoing engine problem with the BAE Systems Hawk T2 advanced jet trainer aircraft, with a view to increasing availability and removing the bottleneck in the UK military pilot training pipeline.

Addressing the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) on 17 May during the hearing titled, ‘Are air force gaps leaving UK exposed?', Director General Air at Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) Vice Admiral Richard Thompson said the Hawk is now the primary issue affecting the UK's pilot training output, and that an effort is in place to fix the Rolls-Royce/Safran Adour 951 engine that is at the heart of its present poor availability figures.

“The current problem [with the Hawk] is purely down to the engine. For the engine, we have a recovery profile to return the aircraft to the 50% availability that we need in terms of engines and aircraft by the end of this year … and we will be back to where we need to be at the beginning of 2025,” Vice Adm Thompson said at the HCDC hearing.

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