Finland has announced its decision to purchase 50 Hawk trainer aircraft form British Aerospace in a deal valued at round 100 million pounds (about 280 million dollars).
Finland has announced its decision to purchase 50 Hawk trainer aircraft form British Aerospace in a deal valued at round 100 million pounds (about 280 million dollars). This is the first order for the Hawk, Britain's contender in the world market for versatile new trainers.
SYNOPSIS: The Hawk has been designed to be highly aerobatic and to have a flying life of at least 6,000 hours.
Among the aircraft's major attraction is its proven economy of operation achieved from easy maintenance and operational reliability.
Britain clinched the deal in the face of competition from several other European aircraft, including the Franco-German Alpha jet and the Czech L-39. In the Finnish Air Force, the Hawk will replace the Fouga Magister.
It is unusual for the Finns to buy aircraft from outside Scandinavia or Russia. Since they signed a letter of intent a year ago to acquire the Hawk, they have been coming under pressure from Communists to place the order with an East European country.
But the Finnish Air Force selected the Hawk because of its technical merits. They will use it both for ground attack and training duties.
46 of the 50 planes will go to Finland in kit form for final assembly in the Valmet factory at Kourevesi, 100 miles (160 km). north of the capital, Helsinki.