Finland to Buy 18 Hawk Mk.66 From Switzerland
The value of the contract is approximately 40 million euros, which equals the price of two new Hawk-category trainers.
The Finnish Air Force’s current Hawks will reach the end of their lifespan between 2017 and 2019. The Swiss airframes have flown less than one fifth of their maximum flight hours, which translates into 90,000 flight hours remaining, which in turn equals fifteen years of operation in Finnish Air Force service. The same number of flight hours could be attained by nine new Hawk-category aircraft.
Finland placed an order for fifty Hawk 51s as early as 1977, the first aircraft being handed over in 1980. In 1990 the Finnish Air Force acquired seven Hawk 51As as attrition replacement. The service has forty-nine Hawks, which have undergone an extensive structural life-extension modification in Finland.
An upgrade project in cooperation with the defense systems provider Patria is currently in its initial phases. Hawk training in the Finnish Air Force is consolidated in the Training Air Wing in Kauhava.
Switzerland bought twenty Hawks in 1992. Compared with Finnish aircraft, they have minor differences primarily in the power plant, avionics, and weapon system. Since the aircraft saw only limited use in Switzerland the Swiss put eighteen aircraft up for sale in 2002.