Inside the Archive: Hawk 127
The Hawk Mark 127 Lead-In Fighter is a tandem, two-seat jet aircraft used to prepare fast jet aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18 Super Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The type entered service in 2001 and is currently operated by No. 76 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown and No. 79 Squadron at RAAF Base Pearce, the. It’s known as one of the world’s most successful jet trainer aircraft with more than 1,000 ordered and delivered to 18 countries. Pilots complete a 14-week introductory fighter course at Base Pearce that includes general, instrument and formation flying, before graduating to a 20-week course at Williamtown for weapons training. Only then can pilots progress to RAAF’s active fighting fleet. Hawk students also attend major exercises such as Pitch Black in the Northern Territory as part of their training.