State-run defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) handed over the first naval variant of the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk Mk-132 to the Indian Navy here. “We built the aircraft in time for delivery to the navy, which has placed order for 17 AJTs variants. Four more trainers will be delivered during this fiscal,” HAL Chairman Mr R.K. Tyagi said on the occasion. The city-based HAL manufactures the supersonic AJT under licensed production with the British BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce for the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy. “The Hawk will have a pride of place in our fleet. In view of our long association with HAL, we will think of reviving past projects,” Vice Admiral Pradeep K. Chatterjee said while receiving the trainer. HAL had in the past supplied Dornier aircraft, Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH), Chetak and Cheetah choppers to the navy over the decades. The company also upgraded the navy’s Sea Harrier aircraft. As the twin-seater multi-purpose jet, powered by a single Rolls Royce Adour Mk.871 engine, the Hawk is used for basic, advanced and weapons training of pilots and can perform a range of aerobatic manoeuvres. The Hawk also has capabilities to be used as a ground attack aircraft or for air defence. With excellent flying characteristics and stability, the trainer can also be flown at night and can perform wide range of aerobatic manoeuvres. The aircraft can remarkably accommodate a wide variety of external stores. The trainer’s ergonomically built cockpit provides an excellent field of view for both pilots, while its instructor’s station in the rear has override control of vital functions. The IAF had ordered 121 AJTs, including 24 in fly-away condition, with the remaining being built at HAL’s complex here. The IAF has located the Hawk fleet at its Bidar base in northern Karnataka, about 690 km from here, to train its rookie pilots for flying the supersonic fighters such as Sukhois, MiGs, Mirages and Jaguars.
Source: Deccan Herald
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