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India awards 500 mn Hawk AJT contract to BAE

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The Hawk AJT. A BAE Photo

NEW DELHI (BNS): India on Wednesday awarded a contract worth over £500 million ($778 mn) to British defence major BAE Systems to acquire 57 more Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft.

The contract, secured with India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, makes provision for supplying products and services to build the new trainer aircraft under Indian licence, BAE Systems said in a statement.

The contract also includes an additional £200 million of work with aircraft-maker Rolls-Royce which will produce engines for the trainer jets.

Of the total 57 Hawk AJTs, the Indian Air Force will acquire 40 while the rest will be produced for the Indian Navy, the statement said.

The deal was secured during British Prime Minister David Cameron's New Delhi visit.

“The aircraft will be manufactured under licence at HAL’s facilities in Bangalore and BAE Systems will provide specialist engineering services, the raw materials and equipment necessary for airframe production and the support package for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy end users,” BAE said.

India, in 2004, had placed an order worth over $1 billion with the company to procure 66 Hawk AJTs. Of these, 24 were built by BAE at its Brough plant in the UK's north-east and have already been delivered to India. The remaining 42 are being manufactured under licence by HAL in India.

Indian Navy recently placed an order with HAL to buy 17 Hawk fighters for its pilots.

The Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer is the latest version of the world’s most successful advanced jet training aircraft. The trainer, which can also be used as a combat aircraft, provides advance stage three training to IAF pilots. It can fly at a maximum speed of 1.2 times the speed of sound.

Tags:

BAE  Hawk  IAF  Indian Navy  
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