The Royal Australian Air Force Hawk 127 is primarily used for initial or lead-in fighter training to prepare aircrew for operational conversion to the F/A-18 Hornet fighter. It is operated by No 76 Squadron at RAAF Base Williamtown, near Newcastle, and No 79 Squadron at RAAF Base Pearce, near Perth.
The Hawk 127 is a low-wing all-metal aircraft, fitted with an integrated navigation and attack system, and powered by a single Adour Mk 871 turbofan engine. The avionics system is integrated via a 1553 multiplex database. The principal components are two display and mission computers (DMCs), which coordinate, process and command the display of information from the communications, navigation and attack sub-systems. Each cockpit has hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) controls.
The head-up display (HUD) in the front cockpit and three colour multi-function displays (MFD) in each cockpit present a range of flight information, ranging from aircraft performance and attitude through to equipment status reports. Mission-specific data can be pre-programmed by the pilot and downloaded into the system. Equipment performance, aircraft fatigue and engine life data is monitored and recorded by a health and usage monitoring system (HUMS).
The Hawk 127 armament system provides for the carriage, aiming and release or firing of practice and Mk 82 bombs, AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles and a 30mm cannon. The stores are carried on two wingtip missile stations or pylon-mounted on four underwing and one centreline hardpoints. A 30mm Aden cannon carried in a gunpod can be installed on the centreline station in place of the pylon. Stores are controlled by the integrated stores management system (SMS).
The Hawk has been designed with through-life support programs to allow for system upgrades to reflect evolving training requirements.