Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has handed over the first of 17 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers to the Indian Navy in Bangalore on Monday. The US Navy and the Royal Navy are the only other navies that operate the aircraft. The aircraft was handed over to Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Pradeep K Chatterjee, by HAL Chairman, Dr RK Tyagi.
Tyagi was quoted in an HAL statement as saying, “We built this aircraft in time and this is the first of the five aircraft to be delivered to the Indian Navy. The remaining four will be delivered soon.”
India is already the largest operator of the aircraft, with the Indian Air Force (IAF) having inducted 70 aircraft, so far. India has ordered a total of 123 aircraft, with the navy order for 17 aircraft being part of the contract for 57 aircraft concluded in 2010. 40 of the aircraft will be delivered to the IAF.
HAL’s statement said ‘against the contract for supplying 17 Hawk aircraft, HAL plans to deliver five aircraft in the current fiscal and balance in next three years to Indian Navy’.
A statement issued by BAE Systems quoted its International Group Managing Director, Guy Griffiths as saying, “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.”
The case for the acquisition of this next order for 20 aircraft for the IAF’s Surya Kiran aerobatic team is currently awaiting consideration by the Defense Acquisitions Council (DAC) of the defense ministry.