Two UK Hawk jet trainers arrive in Jamnagar

November 14th, 2007 - 10:36 am ICT by admin  
The aircraft were given an enthusiastic welcome on their maiden landing on Indian soil.

“The first two Advanced Hawk Jet trainer aircrafts have landed in Jamnagar, and will go to Bidar from here. These aircrafts will be delivered to our Air Force in Bidar,” said R. K. Sharma, Air Officer Commanding, Jamnagar Air Force Base.

“A total of 66 Hawk-132 trainers are being purchased from BAE Systems, UK. Twenty four of them in flyaway condition will be supplied from UK and the remaining 42 will be manufactured in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore. The arrival is in a phased manner,” added Tarun Kumar Singh, Public Relations Officer, South-Western Air Command.

After a brief refuelling halt at Jamnagar, the two Hawks later flew to the Bidar airbase in Karnataka, which will be their designated main operating base.

India had signed a 1.45 billion dollars deal in 2004 to acquire 66 Hawks trainer aircrafts - 22 to be produced at the facility of BAE Systems and the rest by state-run HAL at its Bangalore unit under technology transfer.

India, which has the world’s fourth-largest air force, needs trainer jets to help its young pilots learn to fly. They currently have to go straight from a basic jet to ageing Russian MiG-21 fighters, dubbed “flying coffins” because of frequent crashes.

The Hawk is the leading product in the market for aircraft that can serve as sophisticated trainers and light attack jets.

It is the mainstay trainer for the U.S. Navy and Britain’s Royal Air Force. (ANI)

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