Patria and Finnish AF Select CMC for Cockpit Upgrade of Hawk Mk66 Trainers

(Singapore Airshow - February 2, 2010) Esterline CMC Electronics (CMC) has been selected by Patria, Finland, to perform a glass cockpit upgrade of the fleet of BAE Systems Hawk Mk66 advanced jet trainers for the Finnish Air Force, which purchased the 18 ex-Swiss Air Force aircraft in 2007 to add to its fleet of Hawk Mk51s. CMC was previously selected by Patria to supply its integrated glass Cockpit 4000(tm) for the avionics upgrade of Hawk Mk51 trainers for the Finnish Air Force in January 2007. The final deliveries have recently been made for this program. On completion of this new contract, the Finnish Air Force will have a fleet of 26 upgraded Hawks, consisting of 18 Mk66 and 8 Mk51 advanced trainers. The Hawk provides basic and advanced training at Kauhava Air Base for pilots destined for the F-18C and F-18D equipped front-line squadrons. The contract covers the adaptation of CMC's' Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics suite for the Hawk M66 trainer aircraft. 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 Hawks. The BAE Systems Hawk Mk51 first entered service with the Finnish Air Force in 1980. Jean-Michel Comtois, vice-president, marketing and sales, Esterline CMC Electronics, stated: "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 using CMC's advanced cockpit avionics, fast jet pilot training, from basic to advanced level can be performed using a single platform, resulting in a significant savings." Jukka Holkeri, executive vice-president, Patria, added: "This modernization significantly improves the usage of the Finnish Air Force (FINAF) Mk.66 fleet in today's demanding military pilot training. It also strengthens Patria's capabilities to support FINAF as a strategic partner in the area of OFP (Operational Flight Program) software development. The Hawk Mk.66 fleet modernization further improves Patria's and FINAF's joint efforts to offer training services for foreign customers at Kauhava airbase in Finland. Patria, together with Esterline CMC Electronics, look forward to providing this competitive upgrade solution to other Hawk Mk.50/60 series users". The Patria upgrade core avionics comprise CMC's powerful open-architecture mission computer, a wide field of view SparrowHawk 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 suite 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 Hawks 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. In November 2008, CMC signed a teaming agreement with Patria Aviation for the exclusive marketing of cockpit avionics upgrades of BAE Systems Hawk Mk50/60 and 100 series trainer aircraft.

Source: CMC Electronics
Date: Feb 1, 2010