Hawk advanced jet trainers for IAF soon

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The first two Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers for the Indian Air Force are entering final assembly ahead of flight-testing at BAE Systems in Warton, Lancashire.

These aircraft would replace the more demanding MiG-21 for training rookie pilots in advanced jet manoeuvres.

IAF trainee pilots have been doing most of their practising on British planes at Royal Air Force Valley in Wales ever since India signed the contract for 66 Hawks in 2004. As a result, few accidents have been reported in India while training pilots.

The two Hawks, designated HT001 and HT002, are the first of the 22 aircraft to be built at BAE Systems' facilities. The remaining 42 will be manufactured through a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

The first Hawk for IAF will make its first flight before the end of the year and is scheduled to be delivered to India in September next year after a period of flight testing.

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