Esterline CMC Electronics has completed final deliveries of its Cockpit 4000 integrated avionics systems, which are being retrofitted in 26 Finnish Air Force BAE Systems Hawk jet trainers. Defense and aerospace group Patria, which is jointly owned by Finland and EADS, awarded the contract for the glass-cockpit upgrades to CMC for the air force’s fleet of eight Hawk Mk51s and 18 Mk66s.
The Finnish Air Force Hawks provide basic and advanced training at Kauhava Air Base for pilots destined for the F-18C and F-18D front-line squadrons. According to CMC, the upgrade aims to further increase the quality of flight training by improving the jets’ training efficiency and extending the training that is currently carried out on Hawk aircraft.
“CMC’s integrated glass Cockpit 4000 avionics suite is specifically designed to lower training costs while offering superior training capabilities and, if required, to provide an operational weapons-delivery role,” said CMC Electronics president Greg Yeldon. “By using CMC avionics, jet pilot training, from basic to advanced level, can be performed using a single training platform, resulting in a significant savings,” he added.
The core avionics for the Patria upgrade includes CMC’s open-architecture mission computer; a wide field-of-view SparrowHawk head-up display (HUD) and up-front control panel; two five- by seven-inch multifunction displays; and a HUD repeater for the rear-seat instructor pilot. In addition, the avionics suite features “mature and proven” operational flight programs that integrate the aircraft sensors, radios and weapons systems.
Patria aviation business unit president Lassi Matikainen said the modernization “significantly improves” the capability of the Mk66s for military pilot training. “The feedback received from pilots operating with upgraded Hawks at the Finnish Air Force Flight Academy in Kauhava has been extremely positive,” he added.
Patria, together with CMC, is now offering the Cockpit 4000 avionics retrofit package to other Hawk Mk50/60 and 100 series operators.