Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) presented a proposed display and avionics upgrade for India's licence-built BAE Systems Hawk 132 on the opening day of the Aero India show in Bengaluru on 18 February.

The avionics upgrade seeks to replace the two existing displays in each Hawk cockpit with two larger 8 x 6in multifunction displays. The proposed upgrade will make up for the lack of a moving map display on the advanced jet trainer, and would also replace existing electro-mechanical instruments such as the vertical speed indicator and altitude indicator.

The upgrade appears to be the result of a one-year effort by HAL’s mission and combat system research and development centre, which will also handle the software aspects of the upgrade. A BAE official told Flightglobal that in recent meetings with HAL, “both companies have agreed to work together on a joint Hawk upgrade and fleet management tools”.

The opening day of the show also saw the signing of a contract worth £18.5 million ($28.6 million) between BAE and HAL for a comprehensive support package for India's Hawk fleet. BAE says the deal will support HAL’s efforts to set up a dedicated repair and overhaul facility before major servicing of the aircraft, with the latter expected to begin in 2016.

India has ordered 123 Hawks for its air force and navy so far, with an estimated 100 of the type now delivered and in-service aircraft having accumulated nearly 70,000 flying hours.

Contract negotiations are currently under way for an additional order for 20 of the type to re-equip the air force’s Surya Kiran aerobatic display team.

Source: Flight International