Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has launched the first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132 trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The upgrade work included the replacement of imported mission computer and data transfer units with systems that were locally designed and developed.
Designated as Hawk-i, the aircraft is equipped with mission computer in the dual redundant configuration which has additional capabilities such as digital map generation (DMG) to provide improved situational awareness.
The aircraft has also been fitted with an embedded virtual training system (EVTS) that offers improved training capability over the existing system, HAL said in a statement.
It is said to provide secure voice communication and data link capability by integration of Softnet Radio and pilots can configure and select cockpit human machine interface (HMI) for different aircraft platforms.
HAL chairman and managing director T. Suvarna Raju said: “This is the 100th Hawk aircraft produced at HAL and we are proud that it has a Made in India mark.
"HAL had conceived a programme for indigenous upgradation of the Hawk Mk132 for achieving self-reliance and has successfully accomplished it.”
The aircraft upgrade was carried out at HAL so as to be independent in matters "such as integration of new sub-systems or modifications, obsolescence management of avionics systems and to enhance the aircraft operational and training capabilities", according to a statement posted on the company's website.
The aircraft will be showcased at Aero-India, an international show on aerospace, defence, civil aviation, airport infrastructure and defence engineering, which will be held at Bengaluru between 14 and 18 February this year.
Image: The first indigenously upgraded Hawk Mk132 trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Photo: courtesy of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).