A plan to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force’s fleet of 33 BAE Hawk Mk.127 Lead-In Fighter Trainers (LIFT) may be delayed after faults were identified in engines fitted to the UK’s Royal Air Force Hawk T2 fleet.
A September 2022 report from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) said faults in the Hawk Mk.128/T2’s Rolls-Royce Adour 951 engines were having an effect on the RAF Advanced Fast Jet Training (AFJT) program’s ability to generate sufficient airframes to meet its required training throughput. The MoD expects those effects to continue right through until the end 2025.
“A fault has been identified with the Rolls-Royce/ Safran Adour 951 engine, which powers the Hawk T2,” the UK’s Minister of State, Alec Shelbrooke said on September 14 in response to a question in Parliament. “The fault affects the components contained in the Safran-manufactured Module 1 of the engine, also known as the low-pressure compressor.
“As a precaution, a number of engines have been temporarily removed from service whilst the Ministry of Defence supports a Rolls-Royce/Safran investigation into the root cause and rectification,” he added. “While this has reduced current aircraft availability, fast-jet training is continuing at RAF Valley. Initial assessments suggest the reduction in aircraft availability will have an impact on UK fast-jet training output over the next three years, but work is ongoing to minimise that impact.”
The Hawk T2, or Mk.128 is the latest version of the venerable Hawk series which goes back to when it entered service with the RAF in 1976. The Hawk has been continuously developed since then, with the RAAF’s Mk.127 being part of the revised 100 series which featured a re-designed wing, and a new cockpit design with hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) controls and updated avionics.