India is moving closer to ordering a further 20 Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) from BAE Systems, with the deal to take its future fleet of the type to more than 140 aircraft.
"In partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics [HAL], production of the 66 Batch 1 Hawk trainer aircraft has been completed in India," BAE said in its half-year results announcement on 2 August. "Deliveries of materials and equipment in support of licence production of the 57 Batch 2 aircraft continue, and aircraft assembly in India is progressing to schedule. Quotes are now being submitted for an additional 20 aircraft."
Speaking at the Farnborough air show last month, BAE's director of Hawk aircraft programmes Michael Christie said the expected 20-unit deal with New Delhi will re-equip the Indian air force's Surya Kiran aerobatic display team. The formation currently uses HAL-built HJT-16 Kiran jet trainers.
The Indian air force has previously ordered 106 Hawk trainers
BAE also outlined its involvement in support activities for India's current Hawk AJT fleet. "Sales of Indian Hawk packages worth £56 million [$87 million] were made in the [six-month] period," it said.
India's two existing contracts for the Hawk 132 trainer model cover the production of 106 for the nation's air force, plus 17 examples for its navy.