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UK firm fined for supplying defective components to IAF

Hawk AJT aircraft

NEW DELHI (PTI): The Defence Ministry has said it has fined British defence major BAE Systems for supplying defective components for the Hawk AJT aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The defective components caused delays in supply of the aircraft by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to IAF, which had to modify its training plan for its young pilots on the Hawk advanced jet trainer, Defence Minister A K Antony told Lok Sabha in reply to a written query Monday.

"In view of the delay in delivery of Hawk by HAL due to the receipt of defective components, jigs and fixtures from the foreign manufacturer, on whom liquidated damages have been levied, the original training plan by Hawk AJT for 2010-11 has been modified," he said.

Hawks were inducted into the IAF in 2008 with an aim of replacing Kiran Mk II and MiG 21 aircraft for flying training.

"Pilots of IAF are being trained on the MiG 21 aircraft," he said.

In 2004, a contract was signed with the UK for supplying 66 Hawks of which 24 were to be manufactured in Britain and rest were to be license-produced at HAL facilities in the country.

Due to the supply of defective items by BAE systems, the delivery schedule of the aircraft has been adversely affected.

BAE Systems supplies the components of the aircraft to the HAL in complete or semi knocked down kits and they are assembled by the Indian aircraft manufacturer at its lines in Bangalore.

Recently, India signed an agreement with BAE Systems for procuring another 57 aircraft of which 40 will be for IAF and the rest will go to the Navy.

Answering another query, Antony said the available strength of pilots and personnel below officer’s ranks was enough to meet the current operational requirements of IAF.

"The ab initio cost of training of a fighter pilot in the IAF at 2008-09 rates is Rs 13.70 crore approximately," he said.

In reply to another query, Antony said HAL has supplied only 10 of the 42 Hawks to be supplied by it and two more were in the process of being accepted by the IAF.

"Delivery of all 42 aircraft is likely to be completed by 2012," he added.
On the additional 40 Hawks to be inducted by the IAF, the Defence Minister said, "Contract in this regard was signed on July 23 this year and delivery is expected to commence by 2013."

On the Intermediate Jet Trainer (IJT) being developed by the HAL, Antony said the Government has plans for developing and producing 12 Limited Series Production (LSP) IJTs and 73 (Series Production) aircraft with own simulators.

"Contract for 12 LSP and 73 SP IJTs has been signed with HAL and delivery is expected to commence in 2011 for LSP and 2014 for the SP," he added.

The Government has allocated a sum of Rs 6,519 crore for the development and production of the IJTs.

IJTs would be used for replacing the Kiran Mk II jets, which are used for intermediate jet training of IAF pilots.


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