Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) handed over the first three Hawk Mk66 advanced trainers equipped with its glass cockpit upgrade to the Finnish Air Force at Kauhava Air Base on Nov. 17.
CMC was selected by Patria, Finland, to perform a glass cockpit upgrade of the fleet of BAE Systems Hawk Mk66 advanced jet trainers for the Finnish Air Force. The Finnish Air Force purchased 18 ex-Swiss Air Force Hawk Mk66 aircraft in 2007 to add to their fleet of Hawk Mk51s.
CMC supplied its integrated glass Cockpit 4000 for the avionics upgrade of Hawk Mk51 trainers for the Finnish Air Force in January 2007. The final deliveries were recently made for this program. On completion of this new contract, the Finnish Air Force will have a fleet of 26 upgraded Hawks, consisting of 18 Mk66 and eight Mk51 advanced trainers.
The Patria upgrade includes CMC’s open-architecture mission computer, a wide field of view SparrowHawk Head-Up Display (HUD) and Up Front Control Panel, two 5x7 inch Multifunction Displays (one in each cockpit), and a HUD repeater for the rear seat instructor in each aircraft. In addition, the avionics suite features operational flight programs that integrate the aircraft sensors, radios and weapons systems.
Patria currently supports a fleet of 67 BAE Systems Hawk jet trainers for the Finnish Air Force, the majority of which were assembled by Patria. Patria also has responsibility for maintaining the Hawks during their in-service life as well as performing modifications. In November 2008, CMC signed a teaming agreement with Patria Aviation for the exclusive marketing of cockpit avionics upgrades of BAE Systems Hawk trainer aircraft. The upgrades will be offered to existing Hawk Mk50/60 and 100 series operators.
The Hawk provides basic and advanced training at Kauhava Air Base for pilots destined for the F-18C and F-18D equipped front-line squadrons. The contract covers the adaptation of CMC’s’ Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics suite for the Hawk M66 trainer aircraft. The upgrade aims to further increase the quality of flight training, by improving the Hawk jet trainers’ training efficiency and extending the training that is currently carried out on Hawk aircraft. The Finnish Air Force has already noted the advantages provided by the Hawk Mk51 upgrade in advanced training and savings. The BAE Systems Hawk Mk51 first entered service with the Finnish Air Force in 1980.