Published on Jun 1, 2012
The Red Arrows have used the Hawk T1 aircraft for their displays since it replaced the Folland Gnat in 1979.
The plane is also used as a fast Jet trainer at RAF Valley in Anglesey, but is increasingly being replaced by the T2 variant of the Hawk which is equipped with the latest technology.
The T2 is at the heart of a world-leading training system.
By the time pilots get to fly these Hawk T2 jets at RAF Valley, they will have been through a training package acknowledged as industry leading.
The modern jet fighter is a systems based aircraft. Analogue dials which would be familiar to a Spitfire pilot have been replaced with high-end computer technology.
The first stage of the fast jet training process is PC based, aimed at getting students up to speed with the menus that control the plane.
A180 degree simulator lets the student "fly" with an operator inputting different scenarios. Understanding the functionality of the system is key.
Training stage three cost around 17 million pounds and it's a full 360 degree simulator.
The G force and movement of the hawk cannot be replicated on the ground but everything else can. The cockpit is identical to the Hawk and the Typhoon.
Multiple projectors generate a display, which is completely reactive to the pilot's inputs and decisions.
In the past, fast jet pilots would have to undergo extensive conversion training learning the controls of the typhoon or tornado in the air but now with the Hawk T2 and this training suite they will leave here ready to go, both saving money, but also ensuring the best-trained pilots possible.