NEW DELHI --- The Indian Air Force says it will not make an acquisition request for the British Advanced Hawk trainer aircraft.
The decision comes after the Ministry of Defence asked the service not request the aircraft following allegations that British company Rolls-Royce bribed officials of India's state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited between 2005 and 2009 to secure orders for engines to power the British Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers meant for the Indian Air Force.
"We will not make any formal request for the Advanced Hawk to HAL, and the program will be officially shelved. This is because the MoD does not want [to] give additional orders for engines to tainted Rolls-Royce for the Advanced Hawk program," a senior IAF official said. "IAF has no intentions to place any order for the Advanced Hawk trainers."
British company BAE Systems and HAL signed a memorandum of understanding in 2015 to fund the development and production of a combat role-capable trainer to be marketed for both the domestic and export market.
"Lack of any orders for the Advanced Hawk trainers to be supplied by BAE Systems of UK will make it difficult for the commercial agreement with HAL to proceed further," a top MoD official said.
The Advanced Hawk made its debut at Aero India 2017 in Bangalore earlier this month. (end of excerpt)
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