HAWKER SIDDELEY HAWK T.1A XX337

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XX337's initial service history

Hawk XX337 was first flown by Hawker-Siddeley from its Dunsfold airfield, and was subsequently delivered to the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 2nd March 1981. The airframe was painted in wraparound camouflage and issued to No.2 Tactical Weapons Unit (2TWU) at RAF Chivenor, where it was utilised for weapons training duties. Issued the airframe letter 'K', XX337 remained in service with 2TWU's 'component' Unit RAF 151(R) Squadron (Sqn) until it was withdrawn in the spring of 1984, and sent to British Aerospace for airframe modifications. This work would allow AIM-9 sidewinder missiles to be carried by the airframe, and be used in an air defence role should it be deemed necessary. It was returned to RAF Chivenor in October 1984, and was eventually refinished into air defence grey colours, keeping its 'K' identity.

During September 1992, RAF 151(R) Squadron was disbanded, as was 2TWU, and XX337 became a part of the newly reformed No. 7 Flying Training School (7FTS). Similar to 2TWU, 7FTS used two separate component units within its fleet, and XX337 was issued to RAF 92(R) Squadron, where it remained in use until 7FTS' role was transferred to 4FTS at RAF Valley. Its airframes now redundant, RAF 92(R) was disbanded on 30 September 1994.

XX337's FRADU career

XX337 first appeared with the Fleet Requirements & Air Direction Unit (FRADU) in October 1994, when it was sent on loan to RNAS Yeovilton from RAF Chivenor. It went back to its parent base the following month, but was returned officially on 6th February 1995, as a Fleet Air Arm airframe on loan from the RAF. It was initially operated on FRADU taskings in its former RAF air defence grey colour scheme complete with 'K' code on the tail for a month, until it received a mainframe change and paint refinish into all-black training livery at RAF St Athan. XX337 was then operated from RNAS Yeovilton between May and November 1995, until it was ferried to RNAS Culdrose in preparation for the move of FRADU the following month.
It was operated from Cornwall by FRADU on various taskings until June 1997, when it was ferried back to RAF Athan for a major overhaul and another paint refinish into standard RAF gloss black training livery. Six months later, XX337 was returned to Culdrose and immediately reintroduced into service, remaining active until another spell at RAF St Athan beckoned in November 2000. Selected to go through the RAF Hawk Fuselage Replacement Programme (FRP), the airframe was grounded until the process was completed in May 2001. It was then placed in store pending its next Unit assignment.

Was it with FRADU in 2013?

Yes. Click here to access further information.

- January 2015



[ Peter Mitrovitch]

[ Geoff Wakeham]

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