New British jet will be entering a contested market, says GlobalData

Following the news that British aviation company Aeralis is likely to be the replacement provider for the RAF’s fleet of Hawks, including the infamous Red Arrows;

Daniel Morris, Lead Aerospace and Defence Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Being touted as the first British Jet since 1974, the Aeralis is a modular advanced jet trainer. Marketed as a replacement for the RAFs fleet of both T1 and T2 Hawks, the Aeralis design means that the common airframe can be modified to meet different operational requirements. The decision made in early 2021 to retire the T1 from its role as an aggressor aircraft by March 2022, will be too soon for Aeralis as the jet is still in its initial design phase. But the retirement date of 2040 for the T2 is a more plausible option for the prospective aircraft.

“The Red Arrows use the Hawk T1 but have been allowed to carry on using the airframe past it’s out-of-service date. If the Hawk is replaced with the Aeralis, it is highly likely that it will be the next Red Arrow platform – especially as it has an ‘acrobatic’ capability.

“Although Aeralis has been successful in gaining investment, and a three-year contract from the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office, they have yet to build a working prototype capable of entering the heavily contested market of jet trainers. Additionally, many air forces are looking more towards advanced simulators rather than expensive jets to conduct their training. It could be that the RAF are putting all their eggs in one basket with this platform

“The biggest competition to Aeralis comes from Boeing and Saab’s T-7, which won the US Air Forces T-X program to replace the T-38 Talon. The T-X program is the largest of its kind and allows Boeing and Saab to utilise greater economy of scales when pitching it to an export market, something Aeralis will not be able to do with the RAF help alone.”

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