FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom. --- The world-renowned Red Arrows have helped BAE Systems deliver the first of six new-generation Hawk advanced jet trainers to the Royal Bahrain Air Force (RBAF) at a ceremony held during the Farnborough International Air Show.
Piloted by BAE Systems test pilot Nat Makepeace and Lt Col Omar Ebrahim Mohamed Al Mahmood, F-16 pilot instructor for the RBAF, the aircraft flew into Farnborough formation with the world famous Red Arrows aerobatic team before being handed over to His Highness Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain, and Commander in Chief of the Bahraini Defence Force, Colonel Hamad bin Abdullah Hamad Al Khalifa, the Commander of the RBAF was also in attendance.
BAE Systems is supplying six Hawk advanced jet trainers along with a package of equipment, support and training as part of an integrated flying training system which will enable the RBAF to improve the number and quality of its frontline pilots by developing an indigenous aviation training capability.
BAE Systems CS&S International programme director Mark Greenhalgh said “The handover of this aircraft is an important milestone in our programme with Bahrain. With four separate phases to this programme, we will continue to work closely with the customer to ensure they get the fully-integrated high-quality training solution they require.
Ted Gould, BAE Systems’iInternational programme manager for Bahrain. commented : “As an adaptable, cost effective training aircraft, in use by air forces throughout the world, the Hawk advanced jet trainer is ideally suited to meet the future training requirements of the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF).
The first production Hawk 129 made its maiden flight in August 2005 - six months ahead of schedule. Since then the programme has continued to schedule with the first delivery of BT003 and BT004 planned for August, with the next two (BT005 and BT006) flying out in October and the final pair of Hawks, BT001 and BT002, delivered to Bahrain in December.
The latter two aircraft have been in use for the past six months at BAE Systems Technical Training Academy at Warton, where fifty four RBAF technicians have undergone intensive training to prepare them in all aspects of maintenance of the Hawk aircraft.
The Bahraini Mk 129 aircraft are among the first production Hawks to have the new BAE Systems operational flight programme integrated with the new FADEC-equipped (full authority digital engine control) Mk951 Rolls-Royce Adour engine. Over 900 Hawks are in operational service, or have been ordered by, 19 customers worldwide. Continuous development has been generated to maintain its position as the most advanced and cost-effective digital jet trainer.
BAE Systems is the premier transatlantic 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 more than 100,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems sales exceeded GBP £15.4 billion (US$28 billion) in 2005.
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