Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) has been selected by Patria, Finland, to provide a glass cockpit avionics upgrade for 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.
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(TM) Head-Up Display (HUD) and Up Front Control Panel, two 5x7 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.