Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has awarded a contract to BAE Systems to provide support services for the Indian Military’s Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer aircraft.
The £18.5m contract was awarded at the ongoing Aero India 2015 exhibition at Air Force Station Yelahanka, in Bengaluru. It covers a comprehensive package comprising ground support equipment, spares, support, and training for the aircraft.
BAE Systems defence information, training and services, military air and information, managing director Steve Timms said: "This agreement deepens our partnering commitment to HAL and further develops HAL’s in-country capabilities that are helping to deliver an enhanced training capability to the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy."
The contract supports HAL’s plans to establish a dedicated repair and overhaul facility for the aircraft in advance of a major servicing milestone anticipated in 2016.
India is claimed to be the largest operator of the Hawk advanced jet trainer. The country has 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which more than 90 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy.
The Indian Hawks fleet is claimed to have logged out nearly 70,000 flying hours.
BAE has begun negotiations with HAL for a potential contract to supply products and services for the manufacturing of an additional 20 Hawk aircraft.
The aircraft are scheduled to be built by HAL’s facility in Bengaluru. They would fulfil the IAF’s requirement for its Surya Kiran aerobatic team.
The Hawk Mk132 AJT features a fully digital cockpit, open architecture computers, and airborne simulation systems. It is designed to train pilots in flying next-generation aircraft, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and F-35 joint strike fighter.
Image: An Indian Air Force’s Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer aircraft in flight. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.