Bangalore, Feb 11 (UNI) The Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk-132, imported from UK's BAE Systems a fully combat-capable Trainer that can carry air-to-air missile and air-to-ground armament, will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) on February 23 at Bidar Airfield in Karnataka.
The long-pending demand of the IAF for an AJT, which provides strategic edge to the force, would be finally accomplished when Defence Minister A K Antony formally inducts it into service.
According to a release here today, the IAF would witness another important milestone with the induction of the AJT, bridging the gap between Slow Jet Trainer such as 'Kiran' and Advanced Fighter Aircraft currently in IAF's inventory.
The Bidar Airfield was chosen as the main operating base for 'Hawk' since it has been a training establishment for budding fighter pilots since 1963.
The UK-based BAE Systems, which had won the tender to supply AJT in 2004, had to supply 66 aircraft-- 24 built in the UK and 42 at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore, under licence.
IAF pilots and technicians were trained at BAE systems facilities at Warton and Brough in the UK. The initial four 'Hawk' aircraft were flown from Waton to Bidar by a combined team of BAE systems and IAF pilots in November 2007.
MORE UNI MV MSP JJ VD RK1648