Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the 75th Hawk advanced training and light attack aircraft – designed by British Aerospace – to the Indian Air Force (IAF) at the Aero India 2015 on 20 February 2015. HAL produces the aircraft under license.
The first Hawk was handed over to IAF in August 2008. Since then the type has accumulated 70,000 flight hours.
The Hawk 132 is an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) with tandem dual seats meant to provide basic, advanced flying and weapons training. The aircraft is equipped with Inertial Navigation / Global Positioning System, Heads-Up Display and Hands-On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) controls.
Hawks are not only advanced trainers, but can serve as as ground-support aircraft and light air defence fighters as well. The aircraft has seven hard points to carry external stores with a possible 12 types of combinations to carry the stores.
The Indian Air Force received the first series of the Hawk directly from British Aerospace / BAE Systems: 24 aircraft with the first entering service in February 2008. The first batch of 42 Hawks produced by HAL came in 2011 and 2012. A second contract was signed in 2010, for the supply of another 40 Hawk AJTs. With now 21 aircraft of the second batch delivered the program is aimed to run until 2017.
The Indian Navy ordered 17 Hawks in July 2010. Seventeen have been delivered, the last should join the fleet in 2017.
Source: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Featured image: An Indian Air Force Hawk Mk132, seen in 2007 in the UK before the offical entry into service. (Image © Elmer van Hest)