The IAR-99 HAWK is ranked among the world’s best school, training and ground attack aircraft to date; this fact coupled with its competitive price led to its international recognition. The aircraft’s fame is due to its superior flight and stability characteristics, confirmed by numerous foreign pilots that tested it and stated their opinions in various national and foreign publications. The IAR-99 Hawk aircraft are capable of advanced military training with a flight hour cost 2 to 3 times lower than that of a multirole aircraft.
Since 1988 the IAR-99 Hawk school / trainer / ground attack aircraft are amongst the safest of their kind in the endowment of the Romanian Air Force and of the Air Force Training School. Also the jet trainer is compliant to the interoperability requirements of NATO Forces. Motivated by the necessity of constant development, INCAS and Avioane Craiova S.A., the major developers of the IAR-99 HAWK aircraft, currently work together with other partners on an improved Technology Demonstrator upgraded to modern standards. This demonstrator will mark the integration in a new generation of school / basic and advanced training aircrafts.
The development of the IAR-99 Hawk aircraft (originally named IAR-99 Standard) started in the 70’s as the first basic and advanced jet-trainer aircraft totally designed and built in Romania, to facilitate pilot accommodation with the military aircrafts of the Romanian Air Force. Currently the IAR-99 Hawk is compatible with the MIG-21 Lancer. The development of this aircraft represents a remarkable proof of the Romanian aeronautical industry capabilities to develop and build aviation and industry products.
The main developers of the IAR-99 Hawk program, especially the National Institute for Aerospace Research ”Elie Carafoli” – INCAS, as the aircraft’s designer and Avioane Craiova S.A. as the aircraft’s manufacturer has produced 28 of such aircraft. The airplanes are now in the inventory of the Romanian Air Force, where they fully proved training capabilities. The upgrade of the IAR-99 Hawk aircraft was conducted in cooperation with ELBIT SYSTEMS Ltd from Haifa (Israel).
The first flight of the IAR99 aircraft was on 21st of December 1985, on the Flight Test Center runway in Craiova. The engineers and designers’ efforts and merits for the operational qualities of the aircraft were recognized by the aircraft participation in the main international aviation fairs of Paris (Le Bourget), and England (Farnborough).
Among these competitive operational capabilities we mention: ground attack on enemy troops and targets in tactical and operational field and own infantry support; aerial interception and destroying missions at low and medium altitudes, tactical reconnaissance of operational field, active electronic jamming (electronic blindness), fake target dispersal (chaff / flare), radar warning, secure communication link with frequency hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS), all-weather day and night operation, FLIR / LASER, ejection seats, etc.
Internationally, the IAR-99 HAWK is a direct competitor of C101 (CASA – Spain); MB339 (Aermacchi – Italia); L159 ALCA (Aero Vodochody – Czech Republic); MIG AT (Mikoyan Gurievici – Russia); ALPHA JET (Dassault Aviation – France); K8 (Nan Chang – China); IA-63 (Pampa – Argentina); Hawk 60 (British Aerospace – Great Britain). This competitiveness has resulted in the increased interest of some countries such as Bolivia, Paraguay, Ghana, Eritrea, Israel, Croatia, India and Vietnam in purchasing the IAR-99 aircraft. Moreover, the modern avionics and navigation systems, along with the weapon system placed the IAR-99 Hawk among the top 3 in this class, also benefitting from the unique DASH system (Display And Sight Helmet) all at a very attractive price. Acquiring an IAR-99 HAWK was up to 3 times cheaper than a HAWK 60, 2,5 times cheaper than a MIG-AT and 2 times cheaper than the ALPHA JET. The operating costs are also reduced because the IAR-99 HAWK aircraft allowed a more effective use of flight time in primary and advanced training flights, thus enabling a better training of pilots.
Power plant: 1 X Rolls Royce Viper Mk 632-41M, with 17.79 kN net thrust at sea level.
– Length: 11.1 m;
– Height: 3.9 m;
– Wingspan: 9.85 m.
– empty weight: 3,200 kg;
– maximum take-off weight: 5,600 kg.
Currently the specialists at Avioane Craiova S.A. cooperate with researchers at the National Institute for Aerospace Research and Development ”Elie Carafoli” to build a new generation of trainers, successors of the Romanian HAWK.
The project aims to equip the Air Force with a cost-effective advanced trainer capable of ground troop support that will also be exported. Thus the project will impact the Romanian economy by attracting international cooperation and export orders that could have been a reality since the ’89-s but was never materialized.
At a conceptual level the demonstrator will allow optimizing the operating and maintenance costs for a basic / advanced trainer aircraft, taking advantage of the past experience gained by operating the IAR-99 HAWK but using the new structural health monitoring concepts, together with on-board integrated resource management and fleet-level predictive maintenance.
The upgraded version of the IAR-99 Hawk will represent an essential milestone in a long-term next generation trainer aircraft development strategy. The technology demonstrator is based on an IAR-99 Hawk aircraft (prototype no 7003) that is modified by Avioane Craiova S.A. and will incorporate all the program developments and new systems.
A new element will be the fully digitized board which, together with the HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) system and a glass cockpit with modern avionics and communication systems according with NATO standards, will allow complex training exercises, such as mock target simulations and coordination with ground radar systems. The aircraft will be powered by a Honeywell TFE731-40 engine and will be equipped with a state-of the art radar system.
The new aircraft concept that will be integrated in a basic / advanced pilot training program will respond to the air defense requirements of our country and will also consolidate partnerships with the main high-tech suppliers for the aerospace industry, also keeping it among the most performing basic / advanced trainers worldwide.