BAE Hawk T.50 Trainer
Designed as a private venture and in response to a RAF requirement for an advanced trainer by Hawker Siddeley, the Hawk T.1 first flew in 1974. Although designed as an unarmed trainer, the Hawk was also capable of carrying out light attack missions. The Hawk entered RAF service in April 1976. It was used as a trainer, short range interceptor and target tow. It has been continuously upgraded over the years and still flies with the RAF today. It is a two seat turbofan powered advanced trainer and light attack plane that features a low mounted cantilever wing and a high level of serviceability and low operating costs. The Hawk is designed to carry a centerline gun pod and up to four hard points for various armaments. A derivative of the Hawk has been purchased by the USN as the T-45 Goshawk. Other versions have been used by India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Kenya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Switzerland, South Korea, Oman, Canada, Bahrain and Australia. In 1980 the Finnish Air Force received 50 Hawk Mk. 51s. They were built in Finland under license. During the Cold War the Finnish Air Force was limited to 60 first line fighter aircraft by the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947. By buying Hawks, which counted as trainers rather than fighters, capacity could be increased while adhering to the treaty. The Hawk T.50 was armed with a 30 mm ADEN cannon in a centerline pod and 1,500 lbs. of ordinance on two wing pylons. This model shows a Finnish Air Force Hawk T.50 in the mid 1980s.