NEW DELHI — BAE Systems of the United Kingdom has been asked by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to supply 20 more Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) at a cost of about $500 million.
“BAE Systems has received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) for a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft,” said the BAE Systems statement.
Earlier, BAE contracted the sale of 66 Hawk trainers in 2004 and 57 additional Hawk trainers in 2010. If the latest order is contracted, the total numbers of Hawk trainers supplied to India would be 143. The order for the purchase of 57 Hawk aircraft was signed during the 2010 visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to New Delhi.
The 20 Hawk AJTs will replace the Kiran MkII aircraft with the Indian Air Force, which were grounded last year.
“Upon successful conclusion, this would be the third contract placed on BAE Systems for supply of materials and equipment for the Hawk Mk132, building upon previous orders of 66 aircraft in 2004, comprising supply of 24 Hawk aircraft in fly-away condition and 42 aircraft built under license by HAL, and a further 57 aircraft in 2010,” says the BAE release.
India is expecting the delivery of all the 123 contracted Hawks to be completed by 2016, said a Defence Ministry official.
BAE says the potential order of 20 Hawk trainers would boost the total worldwide order of the aircraft to 1,000.
Meanwhile, the Indian Army has also decided to buy 140 ultra-light howitzers from the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems through the Foreign Military Sales route.
BAE has a tie-up with India’s private sector automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra to design and develop specialized military vehicles and artillery products.
BAE and HAL already have a joint venture in software named BAeHAL Software, founded in 1993. The company, located in Bangalore, is providing software services to Indian and global customers on BAE aircraft.