NEW DELHI --- Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and BAE are aiming to woo the attention of countries which are potential targets of the Pakistan-China developed JF-17 Thunder.
India's government controlled Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is planning to aggressively market the upgraded advanced Hawk trainer jets during the 11th edition of Aero India to be held in Bengaluru from February 14. The trainer jet jointly developed by HAL and BAE of the United Kingdom hopes to find foreign takers despite lukewarm response from the Indian Air Force for which it was mainly intended.
Informed sources told Sputnik that it is unlikely that HAL-BAE developed combat trainer would find any orders from Indian forces. "Forces did not discuss any purchase plan for combat Hawk."
The Indian Air Force already operates 123 Hawk MK-132 jets for advanced training for pilots. HAL and BAE had agreed to develop the advanced combat version in year 2015. The aircraft is capable of carrying 3000 kilograms of weapons consisting air-to-air missiles; air-to-surface missiles; air-to-surface rocket and bombs.
Manufacturer claims the advanced Hawk will reduce training demands on more expensive frontline aircraft, creating additional capacity for operational tasks, whilst delivering fast jet training in a more cost-effective, structured and safer environment.
"Together with HAL, we are looking forward to show this industry-funded demonstrator to the Indian and other air forces and seeking their feedback on the combination of features that will better prepare student combat pilots for the demands of frontline aircraft," says Stephen Timms, MD- Defense Information, Training & Services at BAE.
Hawk is being produced by HAL under license from BAE allowing production of the combat jet for export. "High commonality with the existing Hawk production and support infrastructure in India enables the advanced Hawk to be manufactured and supported with maximum reuse of facilities, equipment and skills," BAE said.
HAL-BAE aim to sell approximately 300 advanced Hawks across the world.