Bengaluru: The Indian Navy has received the first of 17 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers, becoming the third naval operator of the Hawk along with the US Navy and the Royal Navy.
The 17 Hawk aircraft ordered by the Indian Navy form part of a contract for 57 aircraft signed in 2010 of which 40 are for the Indian Air Force. Among its 18 customers worldwide, India is the largest operator of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 70 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force. Hawk trainers already in service with the Indian Air Force are performing well.
Adding to the Indian Navy’s fleet of aircraft, the Hawk provides the ideal platform for pilots to transition smoothly to the Navy’s frontline aircraft. Hawk effectively integrates air and ground based elements offering the most efficient and cost-effective method of training pilots.
BAE Systems has worked closely with the Indian MOD and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to establish a production line in India where the Hawk aircraft are assembled. Guy Griffiths, Group Managing Director—International said, “The introduction of the Hawk to a new user is a momentous occasion, and further testimony to the aircraft’s global success. This marks another significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with HAL which has established a track record operating a world-class Hawk production capability. We are committed to strengthening our relationship with HAL and exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities, globally.”
Looking forward, Griffiths added: “We have also submitted our response to HAL’s Request for Proposal for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 additional Hawk aircraft to the IAF, and are now looking forward to partnering with HAL in providing the Indian Air Force’s display team this fantastic aircraft.”
BAE Systems’ Sea Harrier aircraft, which pioneered the short take off and vertical landing for jet aircraft, was bought by the Indian Navy in 1980 and the company continues to support them.