RAF Hawk T2 issues see just two fast-jet pilots graduate in six months

Only two Royal Air Force (RAF) fast-jet student pilots graduated in the first half of the current financial year because the number of flying hours on the BAE Systems Hawk T2 training aircraft at RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales, has been significantly curtailed due to a fault with its Rolls-Royce turbofan engine, an influential group of MPs has been told.

In written evidence submitted to the UK government’s Defence Select Committee on January 17, Lockheed Martin said the problem had hit the Ascent Phase 2 training programme, which the company runs jointly with defence contractor Babcock in partnership with the RAF. It said that while the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is obligated to provide Ascent with 9,200 flying hours on the Hawk each year, Ascent had only been able to fly training sorties for just over 1,700 hours in the first half of FY22/23.

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