The entire board of British aerospace major, BAE Systems, led by Chairman Dick Olver, visited the facilities of partner Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. here on Tuesday.
The visit comes a day after a rare board meeting was held in New Delhi, apparently for the first time ever outside BAE’s home turf, the U.K. and the U.S. Mr. Olver, and Chief Executive Officer Ian King, led a 17-member team. He suggested that the two companies should work on new projects in the 17 countries where BAE is present.
HAL Chairman R.K. Tyagi concurred to say a new business model such as Performance-Based Logistics could be an area of cooperation, a release said. The BAE team discussed areas of mutual interest with top HAL officials who included K. Naresh Babu, HAL’s Managing Director (Bangalore Complex), and T. Suvarna Raju, Director (Design and Development).
The Air Force bought 66 Hawk Mk 132 advanced jet trainers from BAE in 2004, a Rs. 8,000-crore deal. There was topped it up with a second order worth Rs. 5,100 crore for 57 aircraft. BAE has supplied the first lot of 24 Hawks and HAL is making the rest under licence. India is the second largest market for Hawks after the U.K.
The partnership of HAL and BAE Systems dates back to the 1940s when Tiger Moth aircraft were overhauled. It strengthened with the production of Jaguars in the 1980s and then the Hawk fleet.