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BAE Systems - Final Assembly Of First Indian Hawks Underway


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BAE Systems
: 24 November, 2006  (New Product)
FINAL ASSEMBLY OF FIRST INDIAN HAWKS UNDERWAY AT BAE SYSTEMS

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

The aircraft (designated HT001 and HT002) are the first of 66 new Hawks for the IAF and the delivery represents a significant event for the programme. Following major equipment fit and systems testing at Brough, the aircraft were transported by road to Warton where the wings will be fitted to the fuselages and the aircraft will undergo a series of tests prior to first flight.

The first batch of 24 aircraft will be built at BAE Systems' facilities in Brough, with flight-testing taking place at Warton. The remaining 42 aircraft will be manufactured under licence in India through a partnership with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, based in Bangalore.

This is yet another significant milestone on the Hawk programme. Last month BAE Systems secured a production contract to provide the UK MoD with Advanced Jet Trainers. In the same week the first two new Hawks were delivered to the Royal Bahrain Air Force.

Michael Christie, BAE Systems Hawk programme manager, said: 'The delivery of the aircraft to Warton marks a significant step forward for the Indian Hawk programme and is another piece of good news following hot on the heels of first Bahraini Hawks being delivered, the handover of the first Hawk to the South African Air Force, and of course the signing of the production contract for the RAF's Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. All of these customers have selected Hawk to meet their advanced jet training requirements which is further endorsement of the aircraft's position as the world's leading advanced jet trainer.'

HT001 is due to make its first flight before the end of the year and is scheduled to be delivered to India in September 2007 following a period of flight testing.

In March 2004 the Government of India signed a contract with BAE Systems to use Hawk as the new Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) for the Indian Air Force. The contract comprises the purchase of 66 Hawk Mk 132 aircraft; ground based training systems, associated support and interim pilot training at RAF Valley in Wales.

The first batch of 24 aircraft will be built at BAE Systems' facilities in Brough, with flight-testing taking place at Warton. Under the terms of the deal, the remaining 42 aircraft are to be manufactured under licence in India through a partnership with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, based in Bangalore.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems is the premier transatlantic defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 86,000 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded GB£15.4 billion (US$28 billion) in 2005.

(Picture: BAE Systems)
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