New capabilities for Hawks
Hawk Mk.51 aircraft currently stored awaiting modernization have over one third of their overall flight hours left. This corresponds to about 15 to 20 years of service. Modernization as well as the return to service overhaul will be carried out during 2016 – 2018. In addition to the modification of these seven aircraft, Patria has several other Hawk Mk.51 and Mk.66 –jet trainer avionics modification projects ongoing. Patria has the ability to maintain and further develop the software on-board the Finnish Air Force Hawk’s. This enables in-country design and execution of avionics system upgrades as part of the Finnish Defence Forces’ and Patria’s strategic partnership.
Former, mainly analog gauges are replaced with modern, computer based user interface that meets today’s requirements. Cockpit avionics instruments and displays are controlled by software developed by Patria. This software is running within the computer that Patria has integrated to work seamlessly with the other aircraft systems according to the requirements set by the Finnish Air Force.
Hawk Link is a real-time communication system both among aircraft as well as between aircraft and ground station and has not been seen in Hawk’s before. The requirements of the Hawk Link system have been defined in tight collaboration with the Finnish Air Force specialists. Hawk Link includes its own software version that will be specifically designed to carry out the demanding tasks required by a modern communication system.
Engine Health Monitoring –system (EHM) collects information about engine operation during the flight. Data collected by the system is transferred to the ground station for post-flight analysis. The analysis is then used to estimate the future maintenance and repair efforts. Analysis are also used the estimate the lifetime of time-controlled parts.
Operational Load Monitoring -system (OLM) collects information about stress upon fuselage in different flight conditions. With this collected information, combined with other flight information and parameters from the mission computer, the repair and maintenance needs of fuselage and structures are forecasted.
Weapon Control System (WCS) –upgrade replaces the Hawk Mk.66 cockpit weapon instruments, which are suffering from spare part obsolescence issues. New instruments are integrated to with original Hawk Mk.66 weapon control unit. Patria designs and manufactures these new cockpit instruments and required software.
Pilot training system is designed to increase efficiency of the pilot training by visual simulation of sorties and training scenarios with combined flight data from all training mission participants. The continuous development of Hawk jet trainer, software knowhow and Hawk Link realization together with pilot training systems development allows the Finnish Air Force to take the fighter pilot training to yet another level.