First 2 Hawk Jet Trainers Arrive in India

The Indian Air Force’s fleet now includes new-generation aircraft, with the arrival of two British-built Hawk advanced jet trainers at Bidar Air Force Station in the southern state of Karnataka.br /“The Hawk trainers will impart stage-three training to newly commissioned fighter pilots of the IAF at Bidar” beginning next June, according to the Indian Defence Ministry’s Nov. 12 statement.br /The two trainers are part of the Air Force’s 66-aircraft purchase of Hawk Mk-132s from BAE Systems, London.br /“By this year-end, four more Hawks will be ferried in, and by mid-February, six more are scheduled to arrive in a phased manner,” the ministry said in its statement.br /The two aircraft left Britain Nov. 8 and were flown to India by a mixed crew of BAE Systems and Indian Air Force pilots.br /The service had been demanding advanced jet trainers since the early 1990s, attributing the increase in aircraft accidents to the Air Force’s lack of advanced jet trainers.br /“This void will now be filled,” a senior Indian Air Force official said.br /Of the 66 aircraft being bought, 24 are being developed, built and delivered by BAE, while state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore, will manufacture the remaining 42 under license from BAE in India. All 66 Hawks will be in Indian Air Force hands by 2010-11.

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