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The Hawk first entered service with the RAF in 1976, both as an advanced flying-training aircraft and a weapons-training aircraft. The Hawk T1 version is currently used at RAF Valley for fast-jet pilot advanced flying training with No 208(R) Squadron, and at RAF Scampton by the RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows.
The T1A is used for weapons and tactical training on No 19(R) Squadron at RAF Valley, and by No 100 Squadron at RAF Leeming for advanced fast-jet weapons systems officer training and operational support- flying. In its weapons and tactical training role the Hawk is used to teach air combat, air-to-air firing, air-to-ground firing and low-flying techniques and operational procedures
While the Hawk T1 is used solely in the advanced flying-training role, the Hawk T1A is equipped to an operational standard and is capable of undertaking a number of war roles.
The T1A has four under-wing pylons cleared to carry Sidewinder AIM-9L air-to-air missiles, rocket pods, practice bombs and bombs, and can carry a 30mm Aden cannon in a pod underneath the fuselage centre-line. The cannon can be fired at the same time as any of the pylon-mounted weapons are selected for release or firing.