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BAE Systems Delivers Air and Ground Crew Training

15 Oct 2007 | Ref. 319

Brough, UK - Twelve Indian Air Force (IAF) Flying Instructors have just completed their conversion training for the Indian Air Forces variant of the world's most successful jet trainer aircraft, the Hawk.

Under the 10-week 'Convex Training Programme' the pilots carried out ground school training and UK orientation simulator sorties at RAF Valley, avionics training at BAE Systems Brough, and sea survival training, prior to undertaking flying training. The flying phase covers 15 flights per pilot (including night flying) over a 5-week period, demanding a particularly high flying rate.

Paul Comer, Indian Hawk senior instructor pilot at BAE Systems, said: "The course has been very wide ranging, covering all aspects of fast jet flying training. Despite the unseasonable UK weather during the first course, the 90 required sorties were flown in just 5 weeks using, on average, only 2 aircraft. This rate of flying is quite an achievement for the aircraft and all of the Indian Hawk Convex team. All the IAF pilots have all adapted well to the new aircraft and have achieved a good standard in all the disciplines."

The aircraft used in the training programme are out of the 66 new Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers being manufactured for the IAF. The first 24 aircraft are being built at BAE Systems' facilities in Brough, East Yorkshire, with flight-testing taking place at Warton in Lancashire. The remaining 42 aircraft are being manufactured under licence in India through a partnership with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, based in Bangalore.

Once the first Hawks have been delivered to the Indian Air Force later this year, these instructors will develop the new advanced fast jet training system and begin training students who will be the IAF's next generation frontline pilots flying aircraft such as SU-30 and Mirage 2000.

Whilst Indian Air Force pilots have been taking to the skies over the UK, on the ground a new training programme that will produce the first multi-skilled Tornado aircraft technicians for the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) is up and running at BAE Systems Warton.

BAE Systems has helped design and will deliver a training-course that will reduce the numerous single-skill vocations currently used to maintain the RSAF Tornado fleet, to a set of multi-skilled trades. The multi-skilled ethos is one that the UK RAF has been operating for a number of years.

The first batch of RSAF students have arrived at BAE Systems' Technical Training Academy for the final stage of the training programme before they return to Saudi Arabia.

Chris Fairholm, Technical Academy Programme Manager at BAE Systems said: "The RSAF has taken the decision to multi-skill its technicians and we have worked closely with them to understand their needs and how we could integrate them within our training programme to ensure the training we provide meets their requirements."

When the students complete their training at Warton, they will return to Saudi Arabia where they will be deployed onto an RSAF Tornado squadron. Initially they will be assigned an experienced multi-skilled BAE Systems technician trainer who will perform some consolidation training to enable the student to become a fully qualified, multi-skilled technician.

Whether an air force requires an integrated solution, with the Hawk AJT at the centre, that takes student pilots and turns them into the next generation of fast jet pilots; or a requirement to train maintenance technicians to support the fleet of in-service aircraft; BAE Systems is uniquely placed to deliver a total training solution designed to meet customer needs.

BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 96,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded 15 billion (US $27 billion) in 2006*.

*On a pro rata basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings Inc. for the whole of 2006.

For further information contact:
Paul Earnshaw, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 856992
Mob: +44 (0) 7801 715851

Scott Hailstone, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384725
Mob: +44 (0)7793 423068

Issued by:
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384710 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739

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