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21 Dec 2007 | Ref. 401/2007

Brough, United Kingdom. – A new generation of fast jet training for the UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy pilots moved a step closer with the start of final assembly on the first production Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT).

The aircraft (designated RT003), is the first of 28 production Hawk AJTs purchased by UK MoD being manufactured by BAE Systems at Brough.

Two development Hawks AJTs already produced by BAE Systems under the design and development contract signed with the UK MoD in 2004 are now in the final phase of their flight development programme at BAE Systems Warton.

The Hawk AJT is equipped with some of the latest avionic systems ensuring that the aircraft is the ideal platform for training the next generation of fast jet pilots. These systems include a Ground Proximity Warning System a Digital Moving Map and a Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) – the Hawk AJT is the only advanced jet trainer in the world fitted with TCAS.

RAF and RN pilots will move seamlessly from the Hawk to Typhoon and other aircraft. Globally the Hawk is used to train pilots for frontline aircraft such as F-16, Gripen and Su-30.

Simon Bee, Final Assembly IPT Leader at BAE Systems Brough, said “This is a significant milestone for the UK AJT programme. During this final stage the wing will be fitted to the fuselage, the engine will be installed and the aircraft will undergo a series of ground tests before it flies for the first time from Brough.”

Mark Parkinson, Managing Director, BAE Systems Training Solutions added: “This latest Hawk variant will build on the success and capabilities of the TMk1 Hawk that has served the UK so well. This next generation trainer is equipped with the latest avionics to provide the ideal platform for training pilots of the future, when it enters service.”

The aircraft will transfer to Warton during the second quarter of 2008, where it will complete a production flight acceptance test programme, painting and customer acceptance before being delivered to the UK MoD later in the year.

In 2003, the UK MoD selected the BAE Systems Hawk AJT to meet its advanced jet trainer requirement and the production contract for the 28 aircraft, including productionisation of the two development aircraft, was signed in October 2006.

About BAE Systems
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 forma basis, assuming BAE Systems had owned Armor Holdings Inc for the whole of 2006


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

Paul Earnshaw, BAE Systems
Tel: +44 (0) 1772 856992 Fax: +44 (0) 1772 856524

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