Farnborough Air Show: Esterline CMC Electronics to Upgrade Glass Cockpit of BAE Systems Hawk Mk51 Trainers for Finnish Air Force
Farnborough Air Show – July 11, 2016) Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) has been selected by Patria of Finland, to perform a glass cockpit avionics upgrade of a further seven BAE Systems Hawk trainers for the Finnish Air Force.
The existing upgraded fleet of Hawk Mk51 and Mk66 aircraft provides basic and advanced training at Tikkakoski Air Base for pilots destined for the F/A-18C and F/A-18D equipped front-line squadrons. This new contract covers the adaptation of Esterline CMC’s Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics suite for an additional seven Hawk Mk51 trainer aircraft currently held in reserve in their original analogue state. 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 BAE Systems Hawk Mk51 first entered service with the Finnish Air Force in 1980 and the Mk51A version was delivered in 1993. CMC was selected by Patria to perform a glass cockpit upgrade of eight Hawk Mk51 advanced jet trainers for the Finnish Air Force in 2007.
In 2007, the FINAF purchased 18 ex-Swiss Air Force Hawk Mk66 aircraft to add to its fleet of upgraded Hawk Mk51s. CMC was selected by Patria in 2010 to supply its integrated glass Cockpit 4000 for the avionics upgrade of these Hawk Mk66 trainers for the Finnish Air Force. That contract was completed in 2012. Upon completion of this new contract being announced today, the Finnish Air Force will have a fleet of 31 upgraded Hawks, consisting of 16 Mk66 and 15 Mk51 advanced trainers.
Jim Palmer, vice president, products, navigation solutions, Esterline CMC Electronics, stated: “We are delighted to be adding to the Finnish Air Force Advanced Jet Training fleet. CMC’s integrated glass Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is designed specifically to lower training costs while offering superior training capabilities and, if required, to provide an operational weapons delivery role. By utilizing CMC’s advanced cockpit avionics, fast jet pilot training, from basic to advanced level, can be performed using a single training platform, resulting in a significant savings.”
Lassi Matikainen, president of Patria’s aviation business unit, said: “Upgrades of the Finnish Air Force Hawks show how Patria and CMC have been able to create an extremely cost- efficient solution, providing the end customer with a high-end flight training device. This modification project is the third one in sequence and clearly demonstrates the satisfaction of the end customer, which has been our main goal from the very beginning of the program. Patria’s independent software development capability has also provided a cost-efficient means for rapid responses to the end customer’s requests to tailor the system in an ever changing and evolving military flight training environment.”
The Patria upgrade of the core avionics comprises CMC’s powerful open-architecture mission computer, a wide field of view SparrowHawk™ Head-Up Display (HUD) and Up Front Control Panel, two 5×7 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 mature and proven operational flight programs that integrate the aircraft sensors, radios and weapons systems to provide a wide range of navigation and mission requirements. CMC’s standardized avionics solution minimizes the integration effort required for aircraft installation – a key factor in reducing costs for customers.
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.
Patria is a defence and aerospace group with international operations. Its key business areas are armoured wheeled vehicles, mortar systems, helicopters and military aircraft and their life cycle support, as well as defence electronics systems. Patria delivers internationally competitive solutions to global markets based on their specialist know-how and partnerships. Patria is currently owned by the State of Finland.