BAE Systems has bagged a ₤59 million ($92 million) contract from India to supply spares and ground support equipment to aid the operations of the Indian air force’s Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers.
The latest order brings the total value of Hawk-related contracts won in India to more than ₤600 million in the last 18 months.
Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) are manufactured in India under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL), with materials, parts and support services provided by BAE Systems.
“The Indian air force has one of the largest fleets of Hawks anywhere in the world, and this contract is vital to ensure the continued availability of the fleet,” says Guy Griffiths, international group managing director for BAE Systems. “This new order strengthens the robust production platform established by our partner HAL for the aircraft, which remains the benchmark advanced jet trainer in service today.”
The Hawks, which are already in service with the Indian air force (IAF), are being used to train rookie fighter jet pilots.
In November, India cleared a proposal from the IAF to buy 20 new Hawk AJTs at a cost of around 36 billion rupees ($700 million). In March 2004, India ordered 66 twin-seat Hawks. The country ordered another 57 trainers in July 2010. The combined estimated project cost is 160 billion rupees.
So far, BAE Systems has supplied 24 aircraft directly to India, and the remaining jets will be manufactured by HAL in India. The total cost of the aircraft is now expected to cost the Indian exchequer more than 200 billion rupees.
Lack of adequate training aircraft has resulted in the IAF losing more than 1,000 combat pilots in crashes since 1970.
The Hawks also can be used as ground attack or air defense aircraft in times of war, and are capable of carrying 6,800 lb. of rockets, bombs and air-to-air missiles.
December 12 , 2011
Aviation Week l BAE Wins New Trainer Order From India