Patria delivers the first serial production upgraded Hawk to the Finnish Air Force (FINAF) on 16 June 2009 at the Paris Air Show at 11 am Static Display area A116. The FINAF has decided to upgrade part of its Mk51 fleet and the program is centred on an aircraft glass cockpit systems integration solution designed and implemented by Patria.
The FINAF Hawk fleet consists primarily of Mk51 series aircraft which were supplemented by purchasing eighteen pre-owned Mk66s with plenty of flight hours remaining from the Swiss Air Force in 2007. The FINAF is planning to use Hawks for fast jet training for another two decades.
The upgrade involves the merging of several modern computer-based systems and equipment with the existing avionics and other hardware. The glass cockpit modification will improve the quality of fighter pilot training significantly. All required validation and verification flight tests have been successfully executed as planned and the serial production is now ongoing.
The next phase includes the modernization of the recently purchased Mk66s. The upgraded Hawks will provide the FINAF with a tool offering even more efficient jet training to its own pilots and also to foreign military pilots under the umbrella of the Nordic Pilot Training Centre (NPTC) that is being set up at Kauhava as a joint effort of the FINAF and Patria.
“Patria has maintained Finnish Hawks during their entire life span and performed significant modification projects. We are happy to hand over the first upgraded Hawk to the Finnish Air Force and celebrate it in the Paris Air Show. This is a great opportunity for us to announce the aviation community our specific competence in the field and to present the actual aircraft at the static display”, states Jukka Holkeri, Executive Vice President from Patria.
“As the result of the upgrade, the Hawk will remain a valuable training asset, and the upgrade will also step up training effectiveness; with the modernized Hawks, the Finnish Air Force can also offer quality fast jet training well into the 2020’s to the Finnish fighter pilots and potential international partners alike”, says Major General Jarmo Lindberg, Commander of the Finnish Air Force.
Patria is a defence and aerospace group with international operations delivering its customers competitive solutions based on its in-house specialist know-how and partnerships. Patria is owned by the State of Finland and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company EADS N.V.