Introduction: By the 1980’s, the BAE Hawk was already a success, having already been sold in large numbers to many countries around the world. The Hawk 100 was a modernisation, intended to keep the Hawk current in regards to the technology fitted. This is a trend that kept going throughout the production run of the aircraft, in order to keep it competitive.
Description: Apart from training, the Hawk 100 was also capable of ground attack. The aircraft was outfitted with four underwing hardpoints, two wingtip pylons and a centreline pylon, for a total of seven weapons pylons. These were cleared for a variety of weapons, depending on what the customer wanted. Early 100s were given AIM-9L Sidewinders and AGM-65 Mavericks, in addition to the centreline ADEN pod, bombs and rockets. Eventually, these were succeeded by more modern weapons, such as the Brimstone air-to-ground missile, ALARM anti-radiation missile and ASRAAM air-to-air missile. These gave enhanced capabilities over previous weapons due to their more modern nature. The Brimstone provided an enhanced anti-tank capability, improving the launch aircraft’s safety via fire-and-forget and lock-on-after-launch capability. The ASRAAM provides improved survivability against a wide range of aerial targets, providing superior range and agility to the previous AIM-9L. ALARM offered a highly capable anti-radar capability, combining speed and range with a loitering capability to provide persistent cover against enemy air defences. Though offering enhanced capabilities, the advanced training capabilities offered by the Hawk 100 are what made it popular, with no nation taking up these advanced armament options. India was the exception, with plans to introduce ASRAAM and Brimstone, in addition to locally made weapons, onto their Hawk Mk.132s. The avionics on the Hawk 100 (late) are similar to the Hawk 100 (early), with both forward and rear facing RWR, HUD and provision for ECM. IR countermeasures and chaff can also be fitted.
Conclusion: I believe that this aircraft would make for a good top-tier ground attack aircraft for the UK for when the time comes. The Hawk 100 (late) would be a very powerful aircraft in game, bringing great anti-tank and air-to-air capabilities alongside agility and advanced avionics, that would make it a challenge against even the best interceptors.
World Air Power Journal Volume 2, Summer 1990
“Observers Aircraft 1988/89 Edition” by William Green