The South African Air Force (SAAF) has awarded three new contracts to Denel and Rolls Royce to support its fleet of 24 BAE Systems Hawk mk120 lead-in fighter trainers.

The contract includes providing ‘steady state support’ for the aircraft’s Adour engine and additional 30mm ammunition for the aircraft’s Aden gun.

The R7.2bn ($1.06bn) Hawk mk120 fleet was acquired by SAAF under Project Winchester as part of the 1999 strategic defence package.

The Hawk mk120 LIFT features new wings, forward and centre fuselage, fin and tailplane and has four times the fatigue life of the original aircraft.

The aircraft is also operated by India, Bahrain and the UK Royal Air Force, according to DefenceWeb.