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THE ART OF BEING RUN AFTER the HAWK's WAY

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  • THE ART OF BEING RUN AFTER the HAWK's WAY

    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-trainers.html

    Finnish air force snaps up surplus Hawk trainers
    By Craig Hoyle

    The Finnish air force has signed a deal worth about 40 million ($53.7 million) to acquire 18 secondhand BAE Systems Hawk 66 trainers from the Swiss air force, bringing to an end an almost five-year effort to dispose of the surplus aircraft.

    Finnish defence minister Jyri Hakamies says the aircraft are being obtained for the cost of around two new-build advanced jet trainers, but offer a combined remaining service life of 90,000 flight hours: sufficient for 15 years of use.

    "The purchase allows the service more time to plan its future flight training arrangements and enables co-operation in this field with other European air forces," the defence ministry says. Finland is a member of the planned nine-nation Eurotraining scheme, along with Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, with the partners eyeing the establishment of a shared pilot training service by around the middle of the next decade.

    The ex-Swiss air force aircraft will join Finland's fleet of 49 Hawk 51/51As, operations of which take place primarily from Kauhava airbase. The newly acquired aircraft feature only minor differences in their avionics, engines and weapons systems, the defence ministry says.

    Other previous potential uses for the surplus aircraft had included a Venga Aerospace Systems proposal to offer the Hawks as replacements for the Canadair CT-114 Tutors flown by the Canadian Forces' Snowbirds display team.
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