First Upgraded Former Swiss BAe Hawk Mk.66 Joins Finnish Air Force
The Finnish Air Force has taken delivery of the first of 18 former Swiss Air Force Hawk Mk 66s that are being upgraded with a new glass cockpit.
Arriving at Kauhava Air Base on delivery to the Ilmavoimat (Finnish Air Force) on November 17 was the first modernized former Swiss Air Force Hawk Mk 66 jet trainer for the Air Force Academy’s Training Air Wing. The aircraft HW-374 (ex-U-1267/Swiss Air Force), had made its first flight at Halli on May 5 following upgrade by Patria, which is installing new glass cockpits in the Hawks.
Finland acquired 18 Hawk Mk 66s from Switzerland in 2007 and plans to upgrade all of them with the new glass cockpit. Patria was expecting to have delivered six modified Mk 66s to the Ilmavoimat by the end of 2011, followed by eight more in 2012, with the remainder following before the end of 2013. They will supplement the Hawk Mk 51/51As already in Ilmavoimat service and the first students were scheduled to begin training on the Mk 66 in early 2012.
Source: By Dave Allport - 20 November 2011 - Military Aviation News (www.key.aero.com)
Photo: The first ex-Swiss Hawk Mk.66 to be upgraded with a new glass cockpit by Patria, HW-374, is seen here during a test flight on October 13, 2011. The aircraft was the first of these aircraft to be delivered to the Air Force Academy at Kauhava Air Base on November 17. (Photo by Finnish Air Force)