A new £1m training facility, which will deliver the ground crew maintainers of the future for the Royal Air Force’s Hawk fleet, has been opened at Royal Air Force Valley.

BAE Systems and the RAF have transformed a bay previously used for engine maintenance at the station into a facility which will equip apprentices from Babcock International, which carries out maintenance on the fleet, with crucial skills and offers enhanced capability to support ejection seat training for pilots at the station.

It was officially opened by RAF Valley Station Commander Group Captain Matt Hoare, BAE Systems Chair Cressida Hogg and Simon Barnes, Group Managing Director Designate for BAE Systems’ Air business.

Group Captain Hoare said: “This investment by the RAF and BAE Systems underlines our long-term commitment to Anglesey and will ensure we continue to deliver a pipeline of talented young people, many of whom are from the island, to support the Hawk fleet for generations to come.”

Chris Holt, Delivery Director, Support & Services for BAE Systems’ Air business, said: “Equipping our whole force workforce with the skills they need is vital to ensuring that we can efficiently deliver to the RAF the Hawk aircraft they need when they need them. This new facility will help our maintenance teams to evolve their skills through a mix of classroom, workshop and on aircraft environments.”

The facility is part of an 11-year contract awarded to BAE Systems and Babcock in April 2022 which sees it deliver maintenance and operation support to the RAF’s Hawk TMk2 fleet, ensuring jets are available to train student pilots for life in the fast jet cockpit of Typhoon, F-35 and future combat aircraft. It also covers the provision of depth maintenance to the RAF’s aerobatic display team, the Red Arrows, which flies the Hawk TMk1 aircraft.

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