posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 04:23 PM
All true, but in 1970 you could have said the same about the Gnat, yet the Hawk was designed from scratch.
When you look at a truly modern trainer like the M346 the Hawk looks distinctly old fashioned and as superficial as that seems, it does play a part,
like it or not. An all new BAE trainer could hardly be justified in view of the small requirement for the Hawk T.2, however given BAe's large and
long standing export customer base for the Hawk, which began with the Swiss in 1980, I really think the effort would have been worth it, Aermacchi
obviously think so and the Hawk was vastly superior to their MB 339 (which was itself a warmed over MB326, in much the same way as the Hawk 128 is a
revamp of the Mk 1 - point proven perhaps?).
Way back in the 1980's a BAe senior executive, quoted in Flight, said he could see the Hawk generating business for BAe for 100 years, I think they
are trying to prove him right.