Tue, Mar 29, 2011
BAE Systems Changes Will Let Trainer More Closely Resemble A
The South African Air Force's Hawk jet trainer fleet is about to
receive a navigation and weapons system upgrade from BAE Systems,
which has completed the design work and is now ready to install the
new system in the aircraft.
The software and hardware upgrade, jointly developed with long
term South African partner Advanced Technologies and Engineering,
enables the Hawk Mk120 to share simulated radar data across
multiple platforms. For example the South African Hawk Mk120 can
see the same data as the South African Air Force Gripen and South
African Navy Corvette frigate whilst on a training sortie.
The upgrade, known as Operational Capability 4, includes the
introduction of software to simulate the use of infra-red and radar
guided missiles. The upgrade also involves the replacement of the
existing analogue video recording with a digital recording
capability. This means greater flexibility in analysing the data
post sortie, vastly improving the quality of the debrief process
for both the aircrew and ground crew.
"Integrating these upgrades onto the South African Air Force's
Hawks will significantly enhance the training capability of the
aircraft, ensuring the student pilots learn in a more realistic
environment, significantly reducing the cost of training on
expensive platforms," said Mike Swales, International Training
Director for BAE Systems. "Additionally they are also better
prepared for the challenge of flying front-line aircraft"
The capability upgrade has commenced on eight aircraft based at
Makhado Air Force Base, Limpopo Province, South Africa with the
remainder of the Hawk Mk120 fleet due to be upgraded before the end
of the year.
BAE Systems delivered 24 Hawk Mk120 Lead In Fighter Trainers to
South Africa where they are operated by the South African Air
Force's 85 Combat Flying School at Air Force Base Makhado. South
Africa's Hawks are used for training Gripen pilots and weapons
officers. The Hawk aircraft have been configured so that their
cockpits and systems closely resemble those on the Gripen advanced
fighter. The aircraft is in operation with 18 countries.
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