India requests more Hawks for aerobatic display team

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India has formally launched a process to acquire replacements for the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL)-built Kiran trainers which equip its air force's Surya Kiran aerobatic display team.

UK company BAE Systems on 14 September announced its receipt of a request for proposal from New Delhi for a planned further batch of 20 Hawk advanced jet trainers to re-equip the team. If completed, the deal would follow two previous orders for a combined 123 Mk 132 examples, and push total sales of the single-engined type beyond the 1,000 airframe mark.

BAE Systems

"The aircraft, to be built by HAL in Bengaluru, will fulfill the Indian air force's requirement for its prestigious aerobatic team," says BAE, which adds that the order would also cover its provision of associated "materials and equipment".

Local production of the trainer is already performed in Bengaluru, and BAE says "Hawk trainers already in service with the Indian air force are performing well."

A contract would also represent good news for Rolls-Royce, which supplies the Hawk 132's Adour 871 turbofan engine.