Indian Air Force inducts BAE Advanced Jet Trainers

February 23rd, 2008 - 5:38 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, Feb 23 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) Saturday inducted into its fleet eight Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJT) built by Britain-based aerospace and defence major BAE Systems. The induction took place at the IAF station in Bidar, Karnataka.

The IAF will receive a total 66 Hawks, according to a press statement by BAE here.

Out of the 66 Hawks, 24 will be built by BAE Systems in Britain and 42 under licence by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. in Bangalore.

IAF had received the first lot of eight planes last November.

The statement quoting Nigel Whitehead, group managing director Military Air Solutions BAE Systems, said: “The induction of Hawk AJT into the Indian Air Force represents a significant event for both BAE Systems and the IAF. The Hawk AJT will ensure future generations of student pilots have an ideal transition platform from student to frontline jet pilots.”

According to the release, in parallel to delivery of aircraft and training devices, BAE Systems, in partnership with the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) will train over 75 IAF pilots, on RAF Hawk fleet at RAF Valley.

The training of the entire lot is expected to get over mid-2008. According to the BAE spokesperson, several IAF pilots have already completed their training and have joined the fleet.

Apart from pilots being trained, BAE said, IAF engineering officers and technicians were also being trained in BAE Systems’ Technical Training Academy at Warton.

IAF flying instructors have also completed their conversion training.

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