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India discusses problems of licenced production of Hawk AJT with UK

Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. Image credit: BAE Systems

NEW DELHI (PTI): India has raised the problems relating to licensed production of 'Hawk' Advanced Jet Trainers for the Indian Air Force (IAF) with the United Kingdom, asking the suppliers -- BAE Systems -- to sort out the issues.

The UK, on its behalf, expressed its eagerness in helping IAF in its programme to upgrade the British-origin Jaguar fighter jets.

These issues came up for discussion when British Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies, leading a three-member UK delegation, met Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju here on Friday.

A Defence Ministry spokesperson said Davies informed Raju about UK's keenness in the Jaguar upgrading for the IAF and also promised to overcome the problems relating to licensed production of 'Hawks', being built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), in India.

India had bought 66 'Hawks' from UK in a Rs 6,600-crore deal in 2004, after a two decade delay in the procurement process. The first Hawk under the deal was delivered by BAE Systems to India last year and the HAL started licensed production of the AJT around the same time.

However, HAL was besieged with teething problems during the production, leading to dissatisfaction over support from the original equipment manufacturer in overcoming them.

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