India signs $1 billion deal for more Hawk trainers

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The Indian government has signed a deal worth more than £700 million ($1.01 billion) to acquire a further batch of 57 BAE Systems Hawk 132 advanced jet trainers.

Representing a follow-on purchase to a previous deal for 66 of the aircraft, the new trainers will be produced under licence in Bangalore by Hindustan Aeronautics.

BAE says it will "provide specialist engineering services, the raw materials and equipment necessary for airframe production and the support package for the Indian air force and Indian navy end users" under the deal, with its involvement to be worth over £500 million. The services will receive 40 and 17 Rolls-Royce Turbomeca Adour 871-powered aircraft, respectively.

 
© BAE Systems

In discussion for several years, the contract's final terms and conditions were agreed on 28 July, during a state visit to India by UK prime minister David Cameron. BAE was represented by officials including chairman Dick Olver and group managing director international Guy Griffiths.

"This new order continues and strengthens the long-standing relationship between BAE Systems and HAL," Griffiths says. "It highlights the importance of BAE Systems' strategic development of India as a home market, and the benefit of solid government support."

Indian defence minister M M Pallam Raju led an Indian delegation to the Farnborough air show in July.

BAE says the new deal will extend its existing partnership with HAL - which is responsible for the final assembly of 42 Hawks under the previous AJT contract - by a further six years.

 
© BAE Systems

Confirmation of the new order comes as good news for BAE, which had been seeking fresh sales to continue production of its AJT product. The company will deliver the final six of 28 Hawk 128/T2s to the UK Royal Air Force this year, and is offering versions to meet requirements with the US Air Force and several European air forces.

R-R says its part of the new production contract with HAL is worth up to £200 million. The companies established a new joint venture company named International Aerospace Manufacturing in March.

India's air force operates 24 R-R-powered Hawk 132s, as listed in Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.