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RAF's Hawk Mk.128 Developments (Read 1281 times)
Roger Whitcomb

RAF's Hawk Mk.128 Developments
Nov 26th, 2004 at 2:05am
BAE Expects to Sign U.K. Design Order for Hawk Jet This Month

BAE Systems Plc, Europe's biggest weapons contractor, expects to sign a contract this month to design Hawk trainer jets, part of an 800 million ($1.5 billion) U.K. order for the planes.

Under the contract, London-based BAE will provide two development aircraft to the U.K., spokesman Greg Trew said in a phone interview today. The U.K. Ministry of Defence must approve the planes before committing to a fixed-price production order, expected in the middle of next year, he said.

"We're now fairly confident that by the end of November, or shortly there-after, we will be signing the design and development contract," Trew said. The contract includes an upgrade of the Hawk plane with a new mission computer, he said without giving a value.

BAE won the 800 million contract for 20 firm orders and 24 options for the jets in July 2003. Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon chose BAE without inviting rivals bids after pressure from lawmakers and the company that a loss of the contract would kill exports of the Hawk and lead to hundreds of job losses.

The price includes development and production of all 44 planes, Trew said. The U.K. will decide whether to commit to the options in mid-2005, he said.

"Realistically, we might have expected to get to design and development earlier than we have," Trew said. "But it should have no effect on the program and we still expect to have the trainer jets in service in 2008."

Source: Bloomberg (24th November, 2004)
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