BENGALURU, India --- HAL signed an MoU with BAE Systems UK recently for Hawk Mk132 Upgrade, development of combat Hawk for Indian and export markets and maintenance solutions for supporting Jaguar and Hawk fleets.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, CMD, HAL expressed confidence on success of the proposed collaboration between HAL and BAeS. “It is important that both the teams finalise the scope of Hawk Mk132 Upgrades and other work packages under the MoU agreement at the earliest”, he said.
Mr M N Shrinath, General Manager (Aircraft) signed the MoU on behalf of HAL, while Mr. Steve Timms, Managing Director (Defence Information, Training and Services) signed on behalf of BAES. Mr. Chris Boardman, Managing Director (Military Air & Information) headed the BAES delegation.
About Hawk Mk. 132:
The Hawk Mk. 132 is an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) with tandem dual seats meant to provide basic, advanced flying and weapons training. The cockpit provides excellent field of view and the aircraft is equipped with Inertial Navigation/Global Positioning System, Head-Up Display and Hands-On Throttle and Stick controls.
The aircraft has the capabilities to be used as a ground attack aircraft or for air defence. The Hawk AJT has excellent flying characteristics with good stability, can be flown at night and can perform wide range of aerobatic manoeuvres.
The aircraft can accommodate a wide variety of external stores. The aircraft has 7 hard points to carry external stores with a possible 12 types of combinations to carry the stores.
The aircraft is being produced at HAL under licence from BAES, UK and the first aircraft was handed over to IAF in August 2008. Production program of 42 Hawks to IAF was concluded in 2011-12.
Further, second contract was signed between IAF and HAL in July 2010 for supply of 40 Nos of Hawk AJT and associated equipment. HAL has so for produced 25 aircraft and would be producing all the 40 aircraft by 2016-17.
A contract was signed between Indian Navy and HAL in July 2010 for supply of 17 Nos of Hawk AJT and associated equipment. HAL has so far produced 11 aircraft and would be producing all the 17 aircraft by 2016-17.
HAL has so far produced 78 Hawk aircraft.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: The Indian Air Force’s goal is to deploy its Hawks as lightweight fighters to make up its current shortfall in combat aircraft. These would be fitted with the same weapons as the IAF’s Jaguars, which are being modernized; the weapons include MBDA Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (Amraam), Rafael Litening targeting pods, and a range of smart weapons, including laser-guided bombs and possible the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS), a laser-guided 70mm rocket.)