Hawker Sea Hawk
|FIGHTER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / Hawker|
The Sea Hawk single-seat naval fighter was designed and initially produced by Hawker Air-craft Ltd. Development and series production of this aircraft were the responsibility of Armstrong Whitworth from 1953.
The prototype Sea Hawk flew in 1947. It was eventually followed by the Rolls-Royce Nene 101-powered Sea Hawk F.I, 35 of which were built for the Royal Navy by Hawker and 60 by Armstrong Whitworth. The Mk 2 version was similar but had powered ailerons. It was first flown in February 1954 and 40 were delivered. There followed 116 Sea Hawk FB.3 fighter-bombers, 97 F(GA).4 with additional ground-attack capability, the Sea Hawk FB.5 with uprated Nene 103 engines (about 50 converted from Mk 3), 86 new (plus some converted) Sea Hawk F(GA).6, 22 Sea Hawk Mk 50 for the Royal Netherlands Navy (similar to Mk 6 but with American radio equipment; modified in 1959 to carry Sidewinder missiles), 34 Sea Hawk Mk 100 close-support strike fighters for the Federal German Navy, and 34 Sea Hawk Mk 101 long-range radar reconnaissance fighters for the Federal German Navy. In addition, two squadrons of F(GA).6 were acquired by the Indian Navy for service on the aircraft carrier Vikrant; this service subsequently also received 22 ex-RN F(GA).4/6 and 28 ex-German aircraft. Of the 434 Sea Hawks produced for the Royal Navy, plus those for foreign service, only about 30 aircraft, serving on the Vikrant, remained in 1980.