To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department has made on suitability tests of Advanced Hawk 128 T2 Jet Trainers; and whether he plans to procure further Advanced Hawks for the (a) Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team and (b) rest of the Royal Air Force.
23 October 2017
The Hawk T1 aircraft is due to remain in service until 2030. It is currently used by 100 Squadron and 736 Naval Air Squadron for operational training, as well as by the Red Arrows and the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine. The UK currently has a pool of 75 T1 aircraft from which the Red Arrows and those other units are able to draw. In addition 28 Hawk T2 aircraft are used in a flying training role. Given the number of aircraft currently in service there is no pressing need to make a decision on Red Arrows replacement.
Those aircraft providing operational training are planned be replaced from 2027 by the Air Support to Defence Operational Training (ASDOT) programme which is still in the development stage. The nature of fleet management means that although some of the remaining units will incrementally drawdown earlier, sufficient Hawk T1 aircraft will be retained in the pool of available aircraft to support the requirements of the final units until replacement. Consideration will be given to replacing the Hawk T1 with the Red Arrows in due course, but a decision is unlikely to be taken until after the end of this Parliament.