Posts tagged: BAE SYSTEMS

BAE Systems Hawk Mk.129

History

Six Hawk Mk.129 ordered in July 2003. To be used for advanced training duties by the new RBAF Flying Training School. First flight 12 September 2005.

Individual Details

Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
501 BT003/1343 ZK108 Oct 2006  
502 BT004/1344 ZK109 Oct 2006  
503 BT005/1345 ZK110 Nov 2006  
504 BT006/1346 ZK111 Nov 2006  
505 BT002/1342 ZK107 Dec 2006  
506 BT001/1341 ZK106 Dec 2006  

More Information

References

  • World Air Forces Directory 2006/07 (Mach III)
  • World Air Forces Directory 2009/10 (Mach III)

Other Sources

To be added.

BAE Systems Hawk

 
Royal Saudi Air Force Hawk Mk 65
(photo, BAE SYSTEMS)

Key Facts

Main Role: Advanced Trainer and Light Attack Aircraft
Configuration: Swept-winged jet
Country: United Kingdom
Current Status: In Service, Out of Production

Development

The Hawk originates from a 1964 requirement for a new RAF trainer to replace the Gnat. The two-seat Jaguar was initially intended for this role, but it was soon realised that this would be far from ideal. Accordingly, in 1968 Hawker Siddeley Aviation began the design of a much simpler strictly subsonic trainer, which it designated P.1182 (later HS.1182). The stepped cockpit, allowing the instructor in the rear seat a good forward view, was an innovation subsequently adopted by many other training aircraft.

Confidence in the design was such that no prototypes or pre-production aircraft were ordered, the first six production aircraft being used for development testing. Five of these aircraft were later delivered to the RAF. After entering RAF service in April 1976, the Hawk replaced the Gnat and Hunter in the advanced training and weapons training roles respectively. The most famous RAF operator being the ‘Red Arrows’ aerobatic team.

The Hawk gained an additional role from January 1983, when modification of 88 RAF aircraft to carry Sidewinder missiles commenced. The resulting T.Mk 1A variant was intended for emergency use as a point-defence fighter, supporting Phantoms and Tornados in the UK Defence Region. These aircraft are now used as dedicated weapons trainers. The Hawk subsequently replaced the Canberra in the target towing role.

The Royal Navy also acquired a dozen Hawk T.Mk 1/1As from the RAF, for use by FRADU as aerial targets for the training of ships gunners and radar operators.

From an early stage, the Hawk had aroused considerable export interest, and in 1977 the 50 series export variant was introduced. This minimum change version included provision for underwing drop tanks for the first time. In 1982 an improved export version, the 60 series was introduced, featuring an uprated engine, improved wing aerodynamics and revised wheels and tyres. Further development led to the Hawk 100 and Hawk 200 series, described separately. The T-45 Goshawk variant, adopted by the US Navy is also described separately.

Variants

Requirement Specification: AST 397
Manufacturers Designation: HS.1182

Development History:
P.1182 Designation for initial project studies
HS.1182 Manufacturers designation for final project studies
Hawk T.Mk 1 Initial production version. No prototypes or pre-production aircraft produced
Hawk T.Mk 1A Modification to T.Mk 1A to allow installation of AIM-9L Sidewinder AAMs on underwing launchers for use in a back-up air defence role
Hawk 50 series Initial export version based on T.Mk 1
Hawk Mk 51 Initial export version for Finland
Hawk Mk 51A Second export batch for Finland
Hawk Mk 52 Export version for Kenya
Hawk Mk 53 Export version for Indonesia
Hawk 60 series Improved export version. Uprated Mk 861 Adour engine of 5,700 lb st (25.4 kN), additional wing leading-edge fences and four-position flaps to improve lift, anti-skid brakes and revised wheels and tyres.
Hawk Mk 60 Initial 60 series export version
Hawk Mk 60A Second batch for Indonesia
Hawk Mk 61 Export version for Dubai
Hawk Mk 63 Upgrade conversion of Mk 60 for Abu Dhabi
Hawk Mk 64 Export version for Kuwait
Hawk Mk 65 Export version for Saudi Arabia
Hawk Mk 66 Export version for Switzerland
Hawk Mk 67 Hybrid export version for South Korea. Combines a 60 series airframe with the avionics and systems of the 100 series aircraft. Equipped with ranging radar in an extended nose and nosewheel steering.
Hawk 100 series Advanced two-seat trainer and light attack variant
Hawk 200 series Single-seat fighter and ground attack variant
T-45 Goshawk Carrier-landing capable variant for the US Navy

History

Key Dates:
1968    Initial design studies
January 1970    Official AST 397 Requirement Issued
October 1970    HS.1182 wins production contract
1973    ‘Hawk’ name chosen
21 August 1974    Maiden flight of first prototype T.Mk 1
April 1976    First delivery of production T.Mk 1 to RAF
December 1977    First export delivery Mk 51 to Finland
1982    Red Arrows aerobatic team converts to Hawk
July 1982    First ’60 series’ export orders placed
January 1983    Contract for T.Mk 1A conversions placed
May 1986    T.Mk 1A conversions completed
1999    New fuselage programme for T.Mk.1/1A starts

Operators

Military Operators

Abu Dhabi AF Mk 60 – 16 a/c (15 to Mk 63A)
Dubai AF Mk 61 – 9 a/c
Finland AF Mk 51 – 50 a/c, Mk 51A – 7 a/c
Indonesia AF Mk 53 – 20 a/c
Kenya AF Mk 52 – 12 a/c
Kuwait AF Mk 64 – 12 a/c
Saudi Arabia AF Mk 65 – 30 a/c
South Korea AF Mk 67 – 20 a/c
Switzerland AF Mk 66 – 20 a/c
United Kingdom AF T.Mk 1 – 175 a/c (88 to T.Mk 1A)
United Kingdom Navy T.Mk 1/1A – 12 a/c ex-RAF
Zimbabwe AF Mk 60 – 8 a/c, Mk 60A – 5 a/c

Government Agencies

United Kingdom ETPS T.Mk 1 – 1 a/c, Hawk ASTRA – 1 a/c
United Kingdom Qinetiq T.Mk 1/1A – 2+ a/c ex-RAF

Civilian Operators

None

Specifications

BAE SYSTEMS Hawk T.Mk.1
Crew: Two (Instructor – Rear cockpit, Trainee – Front cockpit)
Dimensions: Length 38 ft 11 in (11.86 m) incl. nose probe, 36 ft 7.75 in (11.17 m) excl. nose probe; Height 13 ft 1.24 in (3.99 m); Wing Span 30 ft 9.75 in (9.39 m); Wing Area 179.60 sq ft (16.69 sq m)
Engines: One Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour Mk151-01 rated at 5,200 lb st (23.13 kN) dry
Weights: Empty Equipped 8,040 lb (3647 kg); Normal Take-off 11,100 lb (5035 kg); Maximum Take-off 12,566 lb (5700 kg)
Armament: Normal maximum external ordnance 1,500 lb (680 kg), Absolute maximum external ordnance 6,800 lb (3084 kg) on three hard points. Loads may comprise single 30-mm gun pod under the fuselage, and two AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles or light bombs or [Export versions only] two underwing drop tanks of up to 190 Imp gal (228 US gal, 864 litres)
Performance: Maximum level speed 560 kt (645 mph, 1038 km/h) at 11,000 ft (3355 m); Maximum rate of climb at sea level 9,300 ft/min (2835 m/min); Service ceiling 50,000 ft (15240 m); Standard range 1310 nm (1509 miles, 2428 km); Ferry range 1670 nm (1923 miles, 3094 km)

Production

Design Centre

Head of Design Team: Gordon Hudson (Design of the Hawk)
Assistant Chief Designer: Gordon Hodson (Customer Requirements/Marketing)
Design Office: Kingston Upon Thames, London

Manufacture

BAE SYSTEMS PLC, United Kingdom
(Formerly British Aerospace plc, Formerly Hawker-Siddeley Aviation Ltd)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
Hawk T.Mk 1 175 Dunsfold, Surrey* 1973-1982
Hawk 50 series  39 Dunsfold, Surrey* 1977-1981
Hawk 60 series 101 Dunsfold, Surrey* 1982-1992
Total: 315    

* Fuselages made at Kingston upon Thames factory near London.

Valmet, Finland
(Later Finaviatec)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
Hawk Mk 51 50 Helsinki 1977-1980
Total: 50    
F+W, Switzerland
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
Hawk Mk 66 20 Emmen 1985-1987
Total: 20    

Total Produced: 385 a/c

Production List

Hawk Production

Dubai AW Hawk Mk 61 serial 501
(photo, BAE SYSTEMS)

More Information

Books

‘Hawk Comes Of Age’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Peter R March
Published by RAF Benevolent Fund Enterprises Ltd, Dec 1995 ISBN: 1 89980 800 0
* Very well illustrated history.

‘BAe Hawk – Modern Combat Aircraft No.20′
by Arthur Reed
Published by Ian Allan Ltd, 1985 ISBN: 0 7110 1465 5
* Development and operational history of the Hawk.

‘Hawk – British Aerospace’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Roy Braybrook
Published by Osprey Publishing Ltd, Oct 1984 ISBN: 0 85045 580 4
* Very good development history up to the Hawk 200.

‘Hawk T.1 – Aeroguide 1′
by Roger Chesnau & Ray Rimell
Published by Linewrights Ltd, 1983 ISBN: tba
* Modellers guide to the RAF Hawk.

‘BAe Hawk in Worldwide Service – On Target Profiles 3′
by Jon Freeman
Published by The Aviation Workshop Publications Ltd, 2004 ISBN: tba
* Collection of colour profile drawings of the various Hawk variants.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 22′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, July 1995 ISBN: 1 87402 362 X
* Includes very detailed 66-page feature on the Hawk.

Magazines

To be added.

Links

The BAe Hawk
(Well written Hawk history)

ASTRA Hawk
(Brief details of the ASTRA Hawk used by ETPS)

Halo
(Mention of Hawk T.1 testing at Warton)

Airliners.Net
(2 pages of Hawk photos)

Shop

Flight Simulator Models:
To be added.

Scale Models:
To be added.

Scale Drawings:
Aviation News Vol.8 No.4, 20 July 1979

Videos:

To be added.

BAE Systems Nimrod

 
Second prototype MRA.4 ZJ518 makes it’s first flight.
(photo, BAE SYSTEMS)

Key Facts

Main Role: Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance and Anti-Submarine aircraft
Configuration: Mid-winged jet
Country: UK
Current Status: In Military Service

Development

Named after the ‘mighty hunter’ described in the Bible (Genesis X, 8-12) the Nimrod has successfully patrolled the seas around the British Isles for more than three decades. Successive updates have maintained the pre-eminence of the Nimrod in its primary role of hunting and killing enemy submarines, and a new upgraded version is now under development.

After an abortive attempt at finding a NATO-standard Maritime Patrol Aircraft had failed in 1959, a renewed attempt to replace the Avro Shackleton in the maritime patrol role began in July 1963 when Air Staff Target (AST) 357 was issued. This called for a sophisticated medium-sized jet-powered aircraft. Proposals submitted included the HS.800, a tri-jet design based on the Hawker Siddeley Trident, but the estimated costs involved in developing such an aircraft proved much too high. This became clear in June 1964 when Air Staff Requirement (ASR) 381 was issued, calling for a much less capable aircraft which could match or exceed the performance of the French Breguet Atlantic.

In an attempt to prevent the French aircraft from winning the contest, engineers at Hawker Siddeley (formerly Avro) at Chadderton came up with the idea of mating the proven Comet airframe with an under fuselage pannier similar to the one developed for the HS.800 proposal. In a very short space of time, the design office developed an unpressurised lower fuselage fairing which snugly fitted over the lower portion of the Comet fuselage, giving it a distinctive ‘double-bubble’ shape. Extending from the nose to the rear fuselage the pannier brought a dramatic increase in useable space for operational equipment and weapons while minimising additional drag. By replacing the existing Rolls-Royce Avon engines with new, less-thirsty, Spey turbofan engines a very acceptable endurance could be achieved. To keep costs down, much of the mission avionics would be similar to that already used in the Shackleton. Designated HS.801, the Comet derivative was offered to meet ASR 381 in July 1964.

In February 1965 it was announced in Parliament that the HS.801 had been selected to replace the Shackleton. A fixed price contract for thirty eight production aircraft was agreed in January 1966, at which time the name Nimrod was selected. In the meantime the conversion of two unsold Comet 4C airframes to act as prototypes had begun. The first to fly, XV148, took the role of aerodynamic test vehicle. It was fitted with a early version of the fuselage fairing and also served to flight test the Spey engine installation. The second prototype, XV147, retained its original Avon engines to reduce risk and timescales, and assumed the role of avionics testbed. Less than a year later, on 28 June 1968, the first new-build production Nimrod MR.Mk 1 took to the air. The flight test programme was remarkably trouble free and on 2 October 1969 the RAF took delivery of its first aircraft, the Maritime Operational Conversion Unit (MOCU – later 236 OCU) at St Mawgan in Cornwall being the first to operate the type. Production aircraft were soon being delivered to operational units at RAF Kinloss, Morayshire, and at RAF St Mawgan, Cornwall. The last unit to begin re-equipping was 203 Sqn at Luqa on Malta, which received its first aircraft in October 1971.

While production was getting underway, it was realised that the Nimrod airframe would make an ideal replacement for the ageing Comet 4Cs still used by the RAF for Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) duties. The Comet offered ample internal space for electronic equipment and excellent cruise performance. Accordingly, three additional airframes were ordered under the designation Nimrod R.Mk 1, with the first being delivered to 51 Squadron at RAF Wyton as virtually an empty shell in July 1971. Over the next three years a complex array of sophisticated electronic eavesdropping equipment was fitted to the three aircraft, resulting in a large number of antennae appearing on the fuselage. The aircraft initially only differed externally in having the MAD probe in the tail deleted and dieletric radomes in the nose of each external wing tank and in the tailcone.

Over the years, the R.Mk 1 aircraft have undergone numerous equipment upgrades as electronic surveillance becomes ever more sophisticated. Some of the cabin windows have been blocked up to allow installation of more equipment, and the fuselage antennae have exhibited several changes. Around 1982 the three R.Mk 1s gained wing tip ESM (Electronic Sensing Measures) pods of a design later fitted to the AEW.Mk 3. and MR.Mk 2 variants. In 1995 R. 1 XW666 was lost in an accident after an engine fire. To replace it, MR.1 XV249 was converted to R.1 standard. The R.1 has played a low profile but key role in many conflicts, from the Falklands War to the 2003 Second Gulf War, identifying and classifying enemy air defence systems and gathering information on enemy activities.

Meanwhile, an order for a second batch of eight MR.1s (bringing the total to 46) was announced in January 1972 to bring the existing Nimrod squadrons up to full strength. The 1974 defence cuts resulted in 203 Sqn being disbanded in 1977. It’s Nimrods were flown back to the UK and placed in storage. In 1975 work began on a comprehensive avionics upgrade for the MR.1. The new equipment suite included a Thorn EMI Searchwater radar in place of the aging ASV-21D unit, a new GEC Central Tactical System and the AQS-901 acoustics system compatible with the latest ‘Barra’ sonobuoys. Thirty-five MR.1 were upgraded to the new MR.2 standard, with the first aircraft being redelivered to 201 Sqn on 23 August 1979.

The invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982 brought the Nimrod to public attention. Eight MR.2s were fitted with ex-Vulcan in-flight refuelling probes on the fuselage and small swept finlets on the tailplane in the space of just 18 days under the designation MR.2P. The previously unused underwing hardpoints were adapted to carry Sidewinder missiles, allowing the MR.2P to be described in the popular press as the world’s largest fighter. Patrols were flown over the south Atlantic looking for Argentine submarines and surface vessels, and also in support of British operations from Ascension Island. In the late 1980s, all MR.2s were fitted with new BAe designed in-flight refuelling probes. From 1985 the MR.2s began to be fitted with wingtip ESM pods, as developed for the R.1, to enhance their surveillance capability. In late 1990 several Nimrod MR.2s were fitted with an underwing FLIR turret under the starboard wing, BOZ pod under the port wing and a Towed Radar Decoy, under the unofficial designation MR.2(GM) – where GM stood for Gulf Mod. Nimrods helped to secure the Arabian Gulf sea lanes during the 1991 Gulf War and returned in 2003 to take part in the liberation of Iraq.

A much less successful variant of the Nimrod was the AEW.3 In 1973 the RAF had begun to examine the options for replacing the Airborne Early Warning (AEW) variant of the Shackleton operated by No.8 Squadron. Boeing offered a variant of the successful E-3A, but the over water performance of its radar was judged to be poor and in March 1977 it was announced that a specialised version of the Nimrod, the AEW. Mk3 would be procured instead. This would be based on the Nimrod airframe but featured a large bulbous radome in the nose and a similar radome in the tail, providing 360 degree radar coverage. A weather radar was located in the starboard external fuel tank and ESM pods fitted on the wing tips. On 28 June 1977 a Comet 4C (XW626) converted to carry the nose radar unit made the first of a series of flight trials. Initial results were promising, and so 3 AEW.3 development aircraft were produced by converting redundant MR.1 airframes to carry the prototype radar equipment. The first flew on 16 July 1980.

While development of the radar electronics, (and the software that controlled it), was proceeding, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) chose to impose a new and more stringent specification on the radar system. Meeting the new requirement meant a lot of redesign and retesting for British Aerospace and GEC, which inevitably delayed the planned in-service date for the aircraft. Nevertheless, in anticipation of a successful outcome of the revised system, a production batch of 8 aircraft was laid down down, using further redundant MR.1 airframes. The first example flew on 9 March 1982. By now the MoD had changed the technical specification several more times. The increased workload of trying to meet a constantly changing requirement with an extremely advanced electronics system which depended on sophisticated hardware and software was now proving to be extremely taxing task, and forecast timescales extended even further into the future. The first interim standard AEW aircraft was delivered to No.8 Sqn in 1984 to allow crew training to commence. At the same time a thorough review of the whole AEW programme was launched to determine whether a reliable and effective system could be produced and put into service. In September 1986 the AEW requirement was reopened to competing bidders and in December of that year the Boeing E-3 Sentry was declared the winner. The Nimrod AEW was immediately cancelled. Unusable AEW airframes were stored at RAF Abingdon until they were scrapped in the 1990s. Poor management by the MoD had doomed a promising programme, despite the best efforts of the systems developers.

In 1993 ASR420 was issued calling for a Replacement Maritime Patrol Aircraft (RPMA) for the RAF. Bids were submitted in 1995 and included a new-build version of the P-3 Orion, upgraded second-hand Orions and from BAe an upgraded version of the Nimrod MR.2 called Nimrod 2000. At the time BAe was rather short of work, and its bid was seen as a relatively low risk update which would be able to use much of the existing Nimrod training and support infrastructure. On 25 July 1996 the RMPA contract was awarded to BAe for the Nimrod 2000. Unfortunately, by this time BAe had also won several other important contracts and the staff and resources available to work on this particular project had become rather limited. With MoD agreement, the necessary work was therefore parcelled up into a number of work packages and subcontracted a number of different partner companies and also split between several different BAe sites including Woodford, Brough and Filton.

The Nimrod 2000 proposal comprised a complete strip-down and zero-life programme for the airframe, new larger wings housing Rolls-Royce BMW BR.710 engines, new radar and sensor systems and new tactical computer system. Boeing was contracted as the avionics systems integrator. In February 1997 the first three stripped-down Nimrod fuselages were delivered to FR Aviation in Bournemouth. Due to the lack of resources at BAe and poor management oversight of the many geographically dispersed work packages, the programme soon began to run late and over budget. In 1999 Rolls-Royce were ready to deliver the first engines, but BAe had no airframes ready to accept them. A programme review in 1999 revealed that work was already running 3 years behind schedule. BAe was forced to renegotiate the contract, incurring a substantial financial penalty in the process. By now, the Nimrod 2000 name had been quietly dropped. The first reburbished airframe was returned to Woodford in January 2000. Incredibly, it took until 2003 for assembly of the first prototype MRA.4 (ZJ516) to be carried out. Unfortunately, when the second set of Airbus-build wings were offered up to the second prototype fuselage, it was found that they didn’t fit. Build tolerances acceptable in the 1960s for the fuselage were too great for the laser-precise tolerances used in the new wing. This problem highlighted BAe management’s fundamental lack of understanding of what it was they were actually trying to achieve. After an interminable amount of time performing system checks, the first prototype MRA.4 took to the air on 26 August 2004 – more than four years late. In September 2004 a round of politically inspired defence cuts resulted in the planned order for MRA.4 being reduced from 18 to ‘about 12′. Delivery of the sixth aircraft is now planned for 2009, with all aircraft likely to be based at RAF Kinloss initially.

The Nimrod MRA.4 is but a crude charicature of the MR.2 that it is intended to replace, exhibiting a complete absence of the elegant blending of form and function which characterised the original 1960s design. In the same vein, the MR.2, which in 1981 was described as the most complex airborne system ever to enter service with the RAF, serves as a model of efficient project managment compared to the inept bungling exhibited by the present generation of project managers. However, despite it’s ugly appearance and late delivery, the updated Nimrod should reclaim it’s crown as the world’s leading maritime patrol aircraft.

MR.1 XV233 shows the original grey-white
colour scheme. (photo, Keith McKenzie)
MR.1 XV245 in a classic pose
(photo, Crown Copyright)

Variants

Requirement Specification: ASR381 – MR.Mk 1, ASR389 – R.Mk 1, ASR420 – MRA.Mk 4
Manufacturers Designation: HS.801

Development History:
HS.801 prototypes Two Comet 4Cs converted to act as Nimrod prototypes. Ventral weapons pannier under cabin, search radar in nose, MAD stinger in tail, fin-tip radome, dorsal fin added. 1st prototype (aerodynamic testbed) with RB.163-20 Spey engines, 2nd prototype (electronic testbed) with Avon engines.
Nimrod MR.Mk 1 Initial production version (38 aircraft). ASV-21D search radar, Marconi Elliott 920B central computer.
Nimrod MR.Mk 1 Last 8 production aircraft (second batch) delivered with updated communications system – as later used on MR.Mk 2. Strengthened structure for gross weights of 192,000 lb (87090 kg).
Nimrod R.Mk 1 Specialised ELINT version of MR.Mk 1 with completely new avionics fit. No MAD tailboom, no searchlight. Dielectric radomes in each external wing tank nose, numerous antenna above and below fuselage. Auxiliary fuel tanks in weapons bay. Later fitted with wingtip ESM pods and some cabin windows deleted as additional equipment fitted.
Nimrod R.Mk 1P Designation applied to R.Mk 1 when fitted with in-flight refuelling probe in 1982. Small swept finlets added to tailplane. ‘P’ suffix later dropped.
Nimrod MR.Mk 2 Upgraded Maritime Reconnaissance version. New avionics fit with Thorn EMI Searchwater radar, new GEC central tactical system, new AQS-901 acoustics system, new communications suite. Air scoop on port rear fuselage close to dorsal fin, for avionics cooling system.
Export Nimrod Version of MR.Mk 2 offered to Canada and Australia. Strengthened structure for gross weights of 192,000 lb (87090 kg). Additional fuel tanks in weapons bay. New APU. Provision for Flight Refuelling drogue pod under each wing. Not built.
Nimrod MR.Mk 2P Designation applied to MR.Mk 2 when fitted with in-flight refuelling probe in 1982. Small swept finlets added to tailplane. Wingtip ESM pods subsequently fitted and tailplane finlets enlarged. ‘P’ suffix dropped in late 1990s.
Nimrod MR.Mk 2P(GM) ‘Gulf Mod’ version tailored for use in 1991 Gulf War. Underwing FLIR turret on starboard wing, BOZ pods, Towed Radar Decoy.
Nimrod AEW.Mk 3 Specialised Airborne Early Warning (AEW) version. Conversion of MR.Mk 1 with bulbous radome in nose and tailcone. Weather radar in starboard external fuel tank. ESM pods on wing tips.
Nimrod AEW.Mk 3P Designation applied to AEW.Mk 3 XV263 when fitted with in-flight refuelling probe.
Nimrod MRA.4 Significantly upgraded Maritime Reconnaissance Attack version with new larger wing, larger engine air intakes, BR710 engines, new stronger wider-track undercarriage, large tailplane finlets. Completely new mission system: Searchwater 2000MR radar, UXS503/AQS970 acoustic processor, Nighthunter IR/TV electro-optical turret under nose, EL/L-8300UK ESM suite, DASS self-protection system, advanced communication system. 2-man Airbus-style ‘glass’ cockpit.
MR.1 (note lack of cooling air scoop) XV251
in ‘Hemp’ colours. (photo, Keith McKenzie)
R.1 XW664 of 51 Sqn in 1988 – note ‘hockey
stick’ aerials. (photo, Keith McKenzie)

History

Key Dates:
July 1963    AST 357 issued, calling for a sophisticated jet aircraft to replace the Shackleton by 1972.
October 1963    Hawker Siddeley submits MR aircraft feasibility study.
April 1964    Hawker Siddeley submits proposal based on HS.800 version of Trident airliner.
4 June 1964    ASR 381 issued, calling for cheaper and more rapid Shackleton replacement.
June 1964    Design of HS.801 based on Comet 4 airliner begins.
July 1964    HS.801 offered to meet ASR 381.
February 1965    Decision to order HS.801 announced.
June 1965    Hawker Siddeley receives Instruction to Proceed (ITP).
January 1966    Fixed price contract placed for 38 Nimrod MR.Mk 1s.
23 May 1967    First flight of Spey-engined prototype (XV148).
31 July 1967    First flight of Avon-engined prototype (XV147).
28 June 1968    Maiden flight of first production Nimrod MR.Mk 1 (XV226).
2 October 1969    First production MR.Mk1 (XV230) delivered to RAF – 236 OCU at St Mawgan.
October 1969    Order placed for 3 R.Mk 1 ELINT versions.
27 Nov 1969    RAF Strike Command absorbs Coastal Command.
October 1970    RAF Kinloss (201 Sqn) begins conversion to Nimrod
7 July 1971    First R.Mk 1 (XW664) delivered to 51 Sqn as an ‘empty shell’.
January 1972    Second batch of 8 MR.Mk 1s announced.
1973    Project definition for Nimrod AEW version carried out.
21 October 1973    Flight trials begin of mission-equipped R.Mk 1s.
10 May 1974    51 Sqn formally commissioned with Nimrod R.Mk.1.
1975    Work starts on MR.Mk 2 upgrade
31 March 1977    Nimrod AEW chosen to meet British AEW requirement.
28 June 1977    Converted Comet 4C (XW626) begins AEW radar trials.
13 February 1979    First MR.Mk 2 production conversion first flight (XV236).
23 August 1979    Redelivery of first upgraded MR.Mk 2 to RAF.
1980    Major avionics update for R.Mk 1s carried out.
16 July 1980    First flight of first development AEW.Mk 3 (XZ286).
9 March 1982    First production AEW.Mk 3 first flight.
14 April 1982    Work starts on in-flight refuelling probe installation design for MR.Mk 2.
27 April 1982    First probe equipped MR.Mk 2P flies (XV229).
29 May 1982    First carriage of AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles (XV229).
early 1982    Initial planned Nimrod AEW service entry date.
Spring 1985    ESM wingtip pods introduced to MR.Mk 2.
1985    Upgrade of 35 MR.1 aircraft to MR.2 standard completed.
1984    First AEW aircraft delivered to 8 Sqn for crew training
September 1986    AEW competition reopened by MoD.
December 1986    E-3 Sentry selected as winner, Nimrod AEW.Mk 3 cancelled.
15 May 1995    R.Mk 1 XW666 ditches after catastrophic engine fire.
1993    Request for information for Replacement Maritime Patrol Aircraft (RMPA) to meet ASR 420
April 1994    Installation of ‘Starwindow’ avionics update for R.Mk 1 commences.
1995    Bids submitted for RMPA
25 July 1996    Nimrod 2000 wins RMPA competition
2 December 1996    Fixed price contract awarded to BAE SYSTEMS for Nimrod 2000 development
14 February 1997    First of 3 Nimrod fuselages delivered to FR Aviation at Bournemouth
early 1998    Nimrod 2000 renamed Nimrod MRA.4
late 1998    Nimrod MRA.4 programme reviewed due to poor progress.
1999    Nimrod MRA.4 contract re-negotiated – 3 years slip in delivery to service.
1999    First BR.710-48 engine deliveries for Nimrod MRA.4.
January 2000    First fuselage returned to Woodford.
19 December 2001    Electrical ‘power on’ for first MRA.4.
2002    Initial planned delivery date for MRA.4.
March 2002    Engines installed in first MRA.4.
February 2003    Programe restructured again – further delay to in-service date.
21 July 2004    MRA.4 order reduced to ‘about 12′.
26 August 2004    First flight of MRA.4 first prototype (ZJ516).
15 December 2004    Second prototype (ZJ518) first flight
2009    Current forecast for MRA.4 in-service date.
MR.2 XV254 in 1989 with ESM pods and large
tailplane finlets. (photo, Keith McKenzie)
MR.2 XV230 in the circuit at Kinloss in 2000
(photo, Keith McKenzie)

Operators

Military Operators

Royal Air Force MR.Mk 1 – 5 sqns + OCU, R.Mk 1 – 1 sqn, MR.Mk 2 – 4 sqns + OCU, MRA.Mk 4 – 2 sqns planned

Government Agencies

RRE/RSRE* Bedford 1 HS.801 prototype

Civilian Operators

Hawker Siddeley/British Aerospace 3 MR.Mk 1 + 1 HS.801 prototype

* Radar Research Establishment (later Royal Signals & Radar Establishment)

MR.2 XV260 on approach at Kinloss in 120
Sqn markings. (photo, Keith McKenzie)
MR.2 XV241 marked up for the 1989 Fincastle Trophy. (photo, Keith McKenzie)

Specifications

Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.Mk.1
Accomodation: 3 flight crew + 9 sensor operators or 45 troops in secondary trooping role
Dimensions: Length 126 ft 9 in (38.63 m); Height 29 ft 8.5 in (9.05 m); Wing Span 114 ft 10 in (35.00 m); Wing Area 2,121 sq ft (197.04 sq m)
Engines: Four Rolls-Royce RB.168-20 Spey Mk 250 turbojets rated at 12,140 lb st (54.00 kN) dry each
Weights: Empty 86,000 lb (39,010 kg); Gross Weight 175,500 lb (79,605 kg); Maximum Take-off 177,500 lb (80,514 kg); Maximum Overload 192,000 lb (87,090 kg)*; Maximum Payload 13,500 lb (6,124 kg)
Performance: Maximum Speed at optimum altitude 500 kts (575 mph, 926 kph); Maximum Cruising Speed (Max Transit Speed) at optimum altitude 475 kts (547 mph, 880 kph); Economical Cruising Speed (Econ Transit Speed) at optimum altitude 425 kts (490 mph, 787 kph); Service ceiling 42,000 ft (12,800 m); Ferry Range 5,000 nm (5,758 miles, 9266 km); Maximum Endurance 15 hours 0 minutes, Typical Endurance 12 hrs 0 minutes.
Armament: Mines, depth charges, Stingray homing torpedoes, bombs in internal weapons bay + 4 optional under-wing pylons for Aerospatiale AS.12 or Martel anti-ship missiles

* With extra fuel in removable bomb-bay tanks.

Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR.Mk.2
Accomodation: 3 flight crew + 9 (later 10) sensor operators or 45 troops in secondary trooping role
Dimensions: Length 126 ft 9 in (38.63 m) excluding probe, 129 ft 1 in (39.34) with IFR probe; Height 29 ft 8.5 in (9.05 m); Wing Span 114 ft 10 in (35.00 m) without ESM pods; Wing Area 2,121 sq ft (197.04 sq m)
Engines: Four Rolls-Royce RB.168-20 Spey Mk 250 turbojets rated at 12,140 lb st (54.00 kN) dry each
Weights: Empty 92,000 lb (41,730 kg); Gross Weight 175,500 lb (79,605 kg); Maximum Take-off 177,500 lb (80,514 kg); Maximum Overload 192,000 lb (87,090 kg)*; Maximum Payload 13,500 lb (6,124 kg)
Performance: Maximum Speed at optimum altitude 500 kts (575 mph, 926 kph); Maximum Cruising Speed (Max Transit Speed) at optimum altitude 475 kts (547 mph, 880 kph); Economical Cruising Speed (Econ Transit Speed) at optimum altitude 425 kts (490 mph, 787 kph); Patrol Speed 200 kts (230 mph, 370 kph) on 2 engines; Service ceiling 42,000 ft (12,800 m); Ferry Range 5,000 nm (5,758 miles, 9266 km); Maximum Endurance 15 hours 0 minutes on internal fuel, Typical Endurance 12 hrs 0 minutes.
Armament: Up to 9 Mk 44 or Mk 46 or Marconi Stingray homing torpedoes, mines, depth charges, 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs in internal weapons bay + 4 optional under wing pylons for 4 AIM-9L Sidewinder air-air missiles or two AGM-84 Harpoon or Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles

* With extra fuel in removable bomb-bay tanks.

Hawker Siddeley Nimrod R.Mk 1 – as for MR.Mk 1 & MR.2 except:
Accomodation: 3 flight crew + up to 28 sensor operators
Dimensions: Length 118 ft 0 in (35.97 m) excluding probe, 119 ft 9 in (36.50 m) over IFR probe
Weights: No published information
Performance: No published information
British Aerospace Nimrod AEW.Mk 3
Accomodation: Four flight crew + tactical team of 6
Dimensions: Length 137 ft 8.5 in (41.97 m); Height 35 ft 0 in (10.67 m); Wing Span 115 ft 1 in (35.08 m); Wing Area 2,121 sq ft (197.05 sq m)
Engines: Four Rolls-Royce RB.168-20 Spey Mk 250 or Mk 251 turbojets rated at 12,140 lb st (54.00 kN) dry
Weights: “Empty 86,000 lb (39,010 kg)”; Maximum Take-off 187,800 lb (85,185 kg)
Performance: Cruising Speed 350 mph (563 kph); Endurance 10+ hours.
BAE SYSTEMS Nimrod MRA.Mk 4
Accomodation: Two flight crew + 8 sensor operators
Dimensions: Length 126 ft 9 in (38.63 m); Height 30 ft 6 in (9.29 m); Wing Span 127 ft 0 in (38.71 m); Wing Area 2,538 sq ft (235.8 sq m)
Engines: Four BMW Rolls-Royce BR710-48 turbofans rated at 15,500 lbf (68.97 kN) each
Weights: Basic Empty 112,765 lb (51,150 kg); Maximum Take-off 234,165 lb (106,217 kg); Maximum Payload 12,000+ lb (5,455+ kg)
Performance: Maximum Speed Mach 0.77; Service ceiling 42,000 ft (12,800 m); Range (unrefuelled) 6,000+ nautical miles (6,909 miles, 11,119 km); Endurance 14+ hours.
Armament: Up to 9 Stingray torpedoes, 6 Harpoon anti-ship missiles (4 on wing pylons + 2 in bomb bay) and mines
MR.2 XV252 in 1987 with ESM pods but no
IFR probe. (photo, Keith McKenzie)
Aerodynamic prototype AEW.3 XZ286
(photo, BAE SYSTEMS)

Production

Design Centre

Head of Design Team: (Not known)
Design Offices: Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd*, Chadderton, Greengate, Middleton, Manchester, M24 1SA

Manufacture

Hawker Siddeley Aviation Ltd*
(Manchester Division, Woodford Aerodrome, Chester Road, Woodford, Cheshire, FK7 1QR)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
HS.801 prototypes (2 conv.) Chester 1964-July 1967
Nimrod MR.1 38 Woodford 1967-Aug 1972
Nimrod R.1 3 Woodford 1970-1973
Nimrod MR.1 8 Woodford 1973-1975
Nimrod MR.2 (35 conv.) Woodford 1978-mid 1984
Nimrod AEW.3 (11 conv.) Woodford 1979-1984
Nimrod R.1 (1 conv.) Woodford Oct 1995-Dec 1996
Nimrod MRA.4 (12 conv.) Woodford Feb 1997-2012
Total: 49    

* later British Aerospace, then BAE SYSTEMS.

Total Produced: 49 a/c (all variants)
(MRA.4: Wings built by Airbus UK at Broughton, Flintshire – formerly the Hawker Siddeley Chester factory)

Production List

Comet
* Comet & Nimrod production list

First prototype MRA.4 ZJ516 being prepared
for flight testing. (photo, BAE SYSTEMS)
ZJ516 makes it’s first flight – note enlarged
engine intakes. (photo, BAE SYSTEMS)

More Information

Books

‘British Aerospace Nimrod – Modern Combat Aircraft No.24′
by John Chartres
Ian Allan, UK, April 1986   ISBN: 0711015759
* Complete history of the Nimrod up until 1985.

‘The Comet and Nimrod – Images of Aviation’ [Order this book from UK]
by Ray Williams
Tempus Publishing, UK, August 2000    ISBN: 0752417525
* Concise pictorial history of the Comet and Nimrod in well captioned b+w photos.

Magazines

Air Enthusiast December 1973
* Nimrod MR.1 feature article
Air International March 1978
* Nimrod AEW.3 feature article
Air International August 1980
* Nimrod AEW.3 update article
Air International July 1981
* Nimrod MR.2 feature article
Air International April 1983
* Nimrod in Falklands War feature article
Air International July 2001
* Nimrod R.1 feature article
Air International July 2002
* Nimrod MRA.4 feature article
Air Forces Monthly October 2004
* Nimrod at war feature article

Links

Airliners.net
* 16 pages of excellent Nimrod photos

The Martin Painter DH106 Comet web site
* includes Nimrod information

Spyflight BAe Nimrod R Mk 1
* Good detailed account of the R.1

Spyflight BAe Nimrod AEW 3
* Excellent critical summary of the AEW.3 story

Spyflight BAe Nimrod MRA4
* Well written summary of the MRA.4 story to 2003

Target Lock British Aerospace Nimrod
* Good profile of the Nimrod

British Aerospace Nimrod R1
* RAF Waddington Nimrod R.Mk 1 photos

Defence Projects Nimrod MRA4
* Official MoD data on the MRA.4

BAE Nimrod
* Wikipedia entry for the Nimrod

Defence Procurement Agency – Nimrod Web Site
* Useful programme data on the MRA.4 – horrible website navigation

Nimrod ‘The Mighty Hunter’
* RAF Kinloss: Very good history of the MR.2

Shop

Flight Simulator Models:
To be added.

Scale Models:
To be added.

Scale Drawings:
To be added.

Videos:

‘Nimrod – A tribute to the first jet powered sub hunter killer’ [Order this video from UK]
Catalogue Number: 82586
* History of the Nimrod up until 1986.
‘Hawker Siddeley Nimrod’ [Order this video from UK]
Castle Home Video  Catalogue Number: CHV2183
* History of the Nimrod up until 1994.

Boeing/BAE Systems T-45 Goshawk

 
Formation of four T-45s from TW-1, NAS Meridian.
(photo, Boeing)

Key Facts

Main Role: Naval Intermediate and Advanced Trainer
Configuration: Low-mounted swept-wing jet
Country: USA/UK
Current Status: In production and service

Development

The T-45 is a rare example of the US Armed Forces adopting in large numbers an aircraft of non-US origin. This must be considered a very positive endorsement for the Hawk jet trainer, from which it was originally derived. However, during it’s protracted development the T-45 has evolved into a training aircraft with virtues which are significantly different from those of the Hawk.

In the late 1970s the US Navy began formulating the requirements for a new training aircraft to replace the faithful but ageing T-2C Buckeye intermediate trainer and TA-4J Skyhawk advanced trainer. The new aircraft would form part of a fully integrated training system for undergraduate jet pilots – including aircraft, simulators, training aids and logistics support to be furnished by a single contractor. The programme was called VTX-TS, meaning Heavier than air, Training aircraft Experimental – Training System.

In January 1978 British Aerospace and the Douglas Aircraft (DAC) division of McDonnell-Douglas Corporation (MDC) agreed a teaming arrangement to compete for VTS-TS. McDonnell-Douglas and British Aerospace were already co-operating very successfully on the Harrier II, and so MDC was a natural US partner for the new programme. In late 1978 BAe and Dassault-Dornier were awarded contracts to study the required engineering changes for Hawk and Alpha Jet carrier operations respectively. Early in the evaluation the Hawk demonstrator, ZA101/G-HAWK, had paid a 31 day visit to the USA, during which it flew a total of 85 evaluation sorties.

On 18 November 1981 the proposed naval Hawk variant was declared the winner and assigned the designation T-45. The Hawk chosen on the basis of its flying quantities, design maturity and low fuel consumption. Mcdonnell-Douglas Corporation (MDC) was designated the prime contractor, with BAe responsible for the airframe, Rolls-Royce for the engine and Sperry for the simulators. Following completion of detailed engineering design, full-scale development was launched in mid-1984, for the production and flight testing of four pre-production aircraft. To speed up introduction into service, it was initially planned to buy 54 non-carrier capable minimum change T-45B versions, before moving on to the more extensively modified T-45A. After review it was decided that producing all aircraft as T-45A models would give better overall value for money, at the cost of a short programme delay. The T-2 and TA-4J trainers remaining in service received life extension programmes to bridge the gap.

Changes from the standard export Hawk Mk 60 comprised a deeper profile forward fuselage to accommodate a new stronger twin-wheel nose landing gear, with catapult launch bar and improved nosewheel steering; new long-stroke main landing gear stressed to withstand carrier deck landings; main landing gear doors sequenced to close after wheels locked down; twin lateral perforated air brakes on the sides of the rear fuselage, in place of the single ventral air brake; a substantially strengthened airframe and intermediate engine casing; revised US Navy standard cockpit instruments and radios; On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) and Martin Baker Mk 14 NACES ejection seats. SMURFs (Side-Mounted Under Root Fins) – small curved surfaces mounted ahead of and below each tailplane – provided a beneficial aerodynamic tweak which was soon introduced on the Hawk Mk 100 and Mk 200. The resulting aircraft was renamed ‘Goshawk’ to avoid any possible confusion with the US Army Hawk missile.

The first development T-45 aircraft (BuAer. 162787), Ship 1, was rolled out at Long Beach, California, on 16 March 1988, and made it’s maiden flight on 16 April. A second development aircraft (BuAer. 162788) followed in November 1988. These two aircraft have sometimes been erroneously referred to as YT-45s. Flight testing was carried out at Yuma, Arizona and then at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland.

Although the T-45 met the original VTX requirements, detailed operational flight testing and evaluation by NATC identified a number of performance and flying shortcomings which would adversely affect its ability to safely conduct day-to-day training operations. Accordingly a modification programme was put in place to rectify the perceived deficiencies. The F405-RR-400 turbofan originally fitted, (a derated version of the original 5,450 lb st (2472 kg) Adour 861 engine), was replaced by the 5,845 lb st F405-RR-401, based on the Adour 871 used in the Hawk 100 and 200. The -400 engine had been derated to meet Navy demands for fuel economy and longevity, but it was determined that more thrust was needed in the critical high drag carrier approach configuration. Full-span wing leading edge slats were added, (to improve stall characteristics), and the wing-tips squared off, while a 6-inch (0.152 m) extension to the tail fin was added, and an increased span tailplane with squared tips fitted. A single ventral fin was added in front of the arrestor hook hinge fairing. Control harmonisation was also improved, and airbrake/tailplane movement interconnected.

While these modifications were being developed, design responsibility for the T-45 was transferred from Douglas at Long Beach to McDonnell-Douglas at St Louis. Although lack of design capacity at Douglas was cited as the main reason, the political and technical benefits from bringing in experience accrued from development of the F/A-18 naval fighter-bomber undoubtedly influenced the decision. Flight testing of the modifications at NATC from September 1990 showed a marked improvement in handling characteristics, and on 4 December 1991 the first pre-production aircraft conducted a successful series of carrier trials aboard the USS John F Kennedy. At this time the T-45 test fleet consisted of the two original (Long Beach built) Full Scale Development (FSD) aircraft with interim uprated F405-RR-400A (Adour 861) engines, and two (Palmdale built) Pre-Production aircraft (BuAer. 163599 & 163600) with F405-RR-401 (Adour 871) engines.

On 16 December 1991 the first St Louis built T-45A achieved its maiden flight. Built to full production standard, this aircraft was formally handed over to the US Navy on 23 January 1992. Introduction of the type into service at NAS Kingsville, Tx, with VT-21, commenced soon afterwards. As required under the contract, this process involved delivery of simulators and training facilities to Kingsville, conversion of the flying instructors to the new aircraft and the new curriculum, and putting in place the contractorised maintenance organisation to support the aircraft. Undergraduate training on the new type commenced in early 1994, and on 11 February 1994 the first student pilot flew in the T-45. The first class to earn it’s wings on the T-45 graduated in October 1994.

Further development of the T-45 has continued. One production aircraft (BuAer. 163635) was fitted with an experimental digital ‘glass’ cockpit known as Cockpit 21. Many of the normal dials on the instrument panel were replaced by two monochrome Multi-Function Displays (MFDs) in each cockpit to better represent the type of cockpit now seen in modern front-line aircraft. Additional avionics include a MIL-STD-1553B databus, Rockwell Collins GPS and a Litton ring laser gyro INS. Flight trials commenced on 19 March 1994, and were sufficiently successful that the change was adopted on the production line from the 73rd aircraft (BuAer. 165081). Aircraft with Cockpit 21 are designated T-45C, and it is anticipated that all production T-45As will also be retrofitted to this standard and redesignated T-45C. A proposal to modestly increase fuel capacity, through the use of fuel tanks in the air intakes was dropped. However, US Navy dissatisfaction with some aspects of the F405 engine led in 1996 to one T-45A being fitted with an AlliedSignal F124 engine for flight testing. The F124 engine was offered to some potential T-45 export customers, particularly Australia, but not taken up. The US Navy’s engine concerns were eventually tackled by an F405 engine modification programme put in place by Rolls-Royce.

T-45s now in service are based at NAS Kingsville, Texas and NAS Meridian, Mississippi. The aircraft are permanently based ashore and flown out to the training carrier for deck landings. Since the transition to the T-45, the training task has been accomplished with 25% fewer flying hours, using 42% fewer aircraft and 46% fewer personnel. With the current T-45 training demand, the U.S. Navy has been averaging more than 60 hours per month per airframe – one of the highest utilisation rates in the world.

A solo student in T-45C 165083 Steam rises as a T-45 waits for the catapult
(All photos Boeing)

Variants

Requirement Specification: VTX-TS
Manufacturers Designation: -

Development History:
VTX-TS Initial US Navy requirement designation.
T-45A Pre-production development aircraft for flight testing. Initially without wing leading edge slats.
T-45A Initial production version. Fully carrier capable. Full-span wing leading edge slats. Later upgraded to T-45C standard.
T-45A One aircraft temporarily fitted with AlliedSignal F124 engine for flight testing.
T-45A One aircraft with digital cockpit as ‘Cockpit 21′ demonstrator.
T-45(AN) Version offered to the French Navy in 1991. Cockpit 21 plus additional advanced avionics. Not built.
T-45B Planned non-carrier capable version. Minimum change version of Hawk Mk.60 for early service entry. Production of 54 planned, with first fight expected February 1987. First two aircraft to be wholly built in the UK. Requirement cancelled and not built, although offered to potential export customers.
T-45C Improved production version of T-45A, featuring ‘Cockpit 21′ with digital ‘glass’ cockpit with 2 colour MFDs.
T-45C 165492 with centreline baggage pod (photo, Pierre Gauthier) The graceful wing and tailplane curves of the Hawk have been lost in the T-45 redesign
(photo, Boeing)

History

Key Dates:
1975    US Naval Air Development Center (NADC) studies replacement of T-2C and TA-4J by single VTX aircraft.
May 1977    BAe presentation to US Navy on Hawk aircraft.
December 1979    Request for quotations for VTX-TS proposals issued.
January 1980    MDC and BAe agree to team for VTX-TS.
June 1981    Hawk demonstrator (ZA101/G-HAWK) tours the USA.
19 November 1981    Hawk wins VTX-TS competition. T-45 designation assigned.
1982    Proposal to split production into ‘minimum change’ T-45B followed by carrier capable T-45A.
late 1983    T-45B variant cancelled.
October 1984    Full Scale Development contract for T-45A launched.
February 1986    Construction of two pre-production ‘prototypes’ begun.
May 1986    Engineering Development contract signed by MDC.
26 January 1988    Initial production contract for 12 T-45A aircraft agreed.
16 March 1988    Roll out of first pre-production T-45A (162787) at Long Beach.
16 April 1988    First flight of T-45A (162787).
2 November 1988    First flight of second pre-production aircraft (162788).
November 1988    First US Navy evaluation flights.
1989    US Navy outlines ‘big 5′ deficiencies found in flight testing.
October 1989    Initial planned first delivery for T-45A. Not achieved.
19 December 1989    Design Authority moved from DAC, Long Beach, to McDonnell Douglas, St Louis.
September 1990    Start of flight testing of production standard slatted wing.
4 December 1991    First carrier landing and catapult launch trials conducted on USS John F Kennedy.
16 December 1991    Maiden flight of first (St Louis assembled) full production standard T-45.
23 January 1992    First production aircraft handed over to the US Navy at St Louis.
1992    First T-45A delivered to NAS Kingsville, TX (to VT-21).
11 February 1994    First flight by a US Navy student pilot in a T-45.
19 March 1994    First flight of ‘Cockpit 21′ demonstrator.
5 October 1994    First class of pilots trained on the T-45 graduate.
17 January 1995    Authorisation of full-rate production for T-45.
7 October 1996    Flight testing of T-45A fitted with AlliedSignal F124 engine commences.
31 October 1997    First T-45C presented at St Louis (73rd production aircraft).
15 December 1997    T-45C introduced into US Navy service (at NAS Meridan, MS).
July 1998    Start of student training with T-45C (with VT-23).
2002    Start of programme upgrading T-45A to T-45C standard.
2007    Planned completion of T-45A upgrades to T-45C.

Operators

Military Operators

USA – Navy (234 T-45A/C planned)

Government Agencies

None  

Civilian Operators

None  
A pair of T-45Cs wait for catapult launch ‘Ship One’ undergoing initial carrier trials on
the USS John F Kennedy
(All photos Boeing)

Specifications

Boeing/BAE SYSTEMS T-4A Goshawk
Crew: Two (student – front, instructor – rear)
Dimensions: Length 39 ft 3.125 in (11.97 m) including probe; Height 14 ft 0 in (4.27 m); Wing Span 30 ft 9.75 in (9.39 m); Wing Area 176.9 sq ft (16.69 sq m)
Engine(s): One Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca F405-RR-401 non-afterburning turbofan rated at 5,845 lb st (26.0 kN)
Weights: Empty Equipped 9,399 lb (4,263 kg); Maximum Take-off 12,750 lb (5,783 kg)
Armament: One hard point under each wing for carriage of practice bombs, rocket pods or drop tanks with 156 US gal (591 lit) of fuel each, plus one under-fuselage centre-line pylon for use in weapons training role.
Performance: Maximum level speed ‘clean’ 538 kt (625 mph, 997 kph) at 8000 ft (2440 m); Maximum rate of climb at sea level 6,982 ft/min (2128 m/min); Service ceiling 42,250 ft (12,875 m); Ferry range with internal fuel 1,000 nm (1,152 mls, 1,854 km); Endurance 3 hrs 10 mins

Production

Design Centre

Head of Design Team: Gordon Hodson (initially)
Design Authority: Boeing Military Aircraft, St Louis, MO.

Manufacture

Boeing Military Aircraft
(St Louis, MO, USA)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
T-45A pre-prodn. 2* DAC, Long Beach, CA Feb 1986-Nov 1988
T-45A 2 DAC, Palmdale, CA Jan 1998-Nov 1990
T-45A 72 St Louis, MO 1990-1997
T-45C 158** St Louis, MO 1997-2007
Total: 236    

* plus one fatigue test airframe and one for drop testing.
** planned production, at 12 aircraft per year.
Subcontractors: Wings (BAE SYSTEMS, Brough), Centre & Aft Fuselage (BAE SYSTEMS, Samlesbury), Fin & Tailplane (BAE SYSTEMS, Samlesbury?), Windscreen and Canopy (Hamble Aerostructures).

Total Produced: 234 a/c (required production) + 2 pre-prodn = 236 total

Production List

To be added.

T-45C 165081 in full landing configuration T-45A 163606 from NAS Kingsville
(All photos Boeing)

More Information

Books

‘British Aerospace Hawk’
by Roy Braybrook
Published by Osprey Publishing, 1984 ISBN: 0 85045 580 4
* Includes a section on the early stages of T-45 development.

‘Hawk Comes of Age’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Peter R March
Published by RAF Benevolent Fund Enterprises, 1995 ISBN: 1 899808 00 0
* Includes two chapters on the T-45. Good photos.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 22′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, Autumn 1995 ISBN: 1 874023 62 X
* Includes ‘Focus Aircraft’ feature on the Hawk, including the T-45.

‘Hawker Aircraft Since 1920′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Francis K Mason
Published by Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1991 ISBN: 0 85177 839 9
* Includes a section on the early days of the T-45 programme.

‘Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by David Donald and Jon Lake
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, 1996 ISBN: 1 874023 95 6
* Includes detailed entry on the T-45.

Magazines

to be added.

Links

T-45 Training System
(Boeing’s T-45 website)

T-45 Goshawk Walk around
(Close-up photos of the T-45)

Naval Technology – T-45A Goshawk
(Description of T-45)

Shop

Flight Simulator Models:
To be added.

Scale Models:
To be added.

Scale Drawings:
To be added.

Videos:

To be added.

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