The Daily Telegraph
Minister blames French over RAF jet faults
A MINISTER has blamed the French for problems with RAF jet engines that could delay military pilot training for up to three years.
Engines in the Hawk T2 training aircraft have been pulled from service amid fears of in-flight failures.
New defence procurement minister Alec Shelbrooke said in a parliamentary statement: “A fault has been identified with the Rolls-royce/safran Adour 951 engine, which powers the Hawk T. Mk.2. As a precaution, a number of engines have been temporarily removed from service while the Ministry of Defence supports a Rolls-royce/ Safran investigation into the root cause and rectification.”
Problems with the Hawks’ Adour engine were traced by engineers to a low pressure compressor fan made by the French aero-engine manufacturer Safran, a component specifically referred to by Mr Shelbrooke.
Rolls-royce and Safran said in a joint statement: “We cannot comment on operational availability, however, we continue to work closely with our military customer to ensure we maximise the RAF’S training capability.”
Neither company would say how many engines were affected, or explain why the French-made component had failed.