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Last Hawk aircraft arrives in India from UK

An official photo of Hawk HT001 aircraft.

WARTON (BNS): After completing a flight development contract for the Indian Air Force, British defence major BAE Systems has delivered the 24th and final Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft to it.

The aircraft, flown by BAE Systems test pilots, arrived at the Bidar Air Force Station on last week to join the rest of the Hawk fleet of the IAF, the company said in a statement here.

The aircraft, HT001, which was actually the first IAF Hawk to be built, has, for nearly three years served as a flight test platform and proving ground for the integration of new systems and capabilities onto the IAF Hawk fleet .

“The first Hawk was delivered to the IAF in November 2007 and other than this final development aircraft, deliveries were completed in 2008.

“Whilst this marks the completion of aircraft deliveries by BAE Systems to the Indian Air Force, we continue to provide support services to the IAF, and work closely with our industrial partners, HAL, in meeting the fast jet training needs of the Indian Air Force,” Michael Christie, Senior Vice President, India for BAE Systems Military Air Solutions, said.

India had inked a $1.45-billion deal with UK in March 2004 to buy 66 Hawk aircraft. Of these, first 24 Hawks were to be built by the BAE in UK while the remaining 42 would be produced in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under transfer of technology.

The first aircraft was delivered to the IAF in November 2007.

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