India inks deal with BAE for 57 Hawk aircrafts
Bangalore: Giving a boost to Indo-British
defence ties, India today inked a 700 million pound (Rs
9,500 crore)-deal for purchase of an additional 57 Hawk
Advanced Jet Trainer Aircraft from British Aerospace Systems
This is the second tranche of the purchase by India since
2004 when it had finalised a deal to buy 66 HAWKs.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by visiting British
Prime Minister David Cameron, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Nayak and Karnataka
Minister for Home V S Acharya.
Of the 57 Hawks to be manufactured at HAL's facility, 40
would be inducted into IAF and 17 into the Navy, BAE System
Managing Director & Chief Executive (India) Andrew Gallagher
This is the first time that the Indian Navy is getting
HAWKs, he said.
The deal was signed by HAL Dierector, Corporate Planning P
Sounder Rajan, BAE's Group Managing Director Guy Griffths and
Rolls-Royce Sales and Commercial Director Chris Awade.
Awade said Rolls-Royce, which supplies engines to BAE
sytems, would supply components to HAL which would produce
engines for Hawks.
The terms of the contract were also inked today, he said.
Under the first deal which involved purchase of 66 Hawks,
24 are to be flown from BAE and the remaining 42 manufactured
by HAL which has so far built 15 of them. After visiting software major Infosys, Cameron arrived
at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to a rousing reception.
Nayak took him into the overhaul division where the
BAE manufactured Jaguar aircraft was on display, besides the
Intermediate Jet Trainer, ALH Mk-IV, Tejas trainer aircraft
(LCA) and Light Combat Helicopter.
Later answering queries from reporters, Gallagher said
the BAE system would begin a discussion with HAL on making it
a hub for its global marketing.
"We are looking forward to develop the global
relationship on the Hawk deal and we have to begin discussions
with HAL on this. We are looking at global market,
particularly the Middle East," he said.
"We are going to develop a business plan and marketing
plan with HAL and take it to the global market as we see it."
Seeking to further boost BAE's relations with HAL,
Gallagher said it was also looking at opportunities to service
the older aircraft, as it has already sold more than 900 of
them so far.
The current joint venture with HAL on software
development will be further expanded, he said.
To a query, he said the problems that had cropped over
spares earlier had been "sorted out".
Awade described the signing of the agreement as a
"special event for Rolls-Royce" and remarked "we have the best
engines in the trainer jet aircraft market".
For Rolls-Royce the deal is worth 200 million pounds
and it would soon finalise negotiations in terms of the
contract, he said.
The final contract agreement on the 57 Hawks was
expected to be signed sometime in this August, Gallagher said.