BAE Systems says Hawk's future is secure
BAE Systems, the international aerospace and defense conglomerate, said the future of its advanced jet trainer, the Hawk Mk 128, is secure and refuted a claim that it planned to close the production line for the aircraft.
BAE Systems’ Managing Director for the Middle East Simon Keith said the claims, originated by the Middle East News Line (MENL), were untrue and took no account of the recent decision by the UK government to buy a significant number of Hawk jet trainers.
The company also said it was not aware of any decision by the United Arab Emirate's Defense Ministry about the procurement of Hawk trainers from Switzerland.
"On July 30, the UK government announced its selection of the latest generation of Hawk aircraft, the Hawk 128, as its new Advanced Jet Trainer for the 21st century. Twenty Hawk Mk 128 aircraft will be purchased initially with an option for a further 24, going into service from 2008," said Keith. "That decision ensures continued production and development of the Hawk aircraft.”
"Whilst discussions on the UAE's purchase of additional Hawk aircraft are on-going, our priority is to provide top-class support to the UAE's current fleet. BAE Systems has a long standing relationship with the UAE and is committed to maintaining and strengthening our partnerships there," added Keith.
The UAE, one of five Hawk users in the Gulf Co-operation Council, has a fleet of 58 Hawk aircraft, including Hawk Mk 102 and the Hawk 61/63.
The Hawk 128 is the next generation of trainer aircraft and will be used to train future fighter pilots that will fly the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Joint Strike Fighter. The Hawk 128 is designed around a fully digital cockpit, open architecture computers and airborne simulation systems.
BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defense and aerospace systems in the air, on land, at sea and in space. The company designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, radar, avionics, communications, electronics and guided weapon systems. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)