Mumbai: Indian Navy on Wednesday inducted the fourth generation advanced jet trainer aircraft `Hawk 132`, which has led to a jump in the operational versatility. "`Hawk 132` was inducted into the Navy at a ceremony held at the Naval Air Station INS Dega at Visakhapatnam," the Navy said in a release.
The aircraft was built by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with Transfer of Technology from M/s British Aerospace, UK.
"Four aircraft have been delivered to the Navy, marking the beginning of seventeen such fighter trainers to be acquired over the next few years," the release said.
`Hawk 132` is equipped with advanced and reliable navigation systems and has the capability to deploy an impressive array of weaponry including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground rockets, bombs and guns.
"It can also carry two extra fuel tanks under the wing, which extends its considerable strike range," the release said.
The HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick) system on the control column and throttle allows the pilot to make weapon selections without moving his hands from the controls.
"`Hawk 132` is a proven aircraft operating with over 24 nations around the world. The Indian Air Force is also operating these aircraft for training of their pilots," the release said.
The induction of this highly capable aircraft will provide the much needed fillip to the training of combat pilots in the Navy by bridging the gap between basic flying training and advanced fighter flying.
"The Hawk will provide ab initio naval pilots with an ideal platform to hone their skills before they graduate to flying high performance aircraft and carrier based fighter jets, thereby making them available operationally in a shorter span of time," the Navy said.