Bangalore, Feb 11(UNI) The Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk-132 imported from BAE Systems, United Kingdom, a fully combat capable and carry air-to-air missile and air-to-ground armament, would be formally inducted into 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, will be finally accomplished when Union Defence minister A K Antony formally inducts into service at its Bidar airbase on February 23.
According to a release from the Press Information Bureau (Defence Wing) here today, the IAF would witness another important milestone in its history when the Mr Antony formally inducts the AJT into service, which would effectively bridge the gap between the slow jet trainer such as Kiran and the advanced fighter aircraft currently in IAF's inventor.
The Bidar Airfield was chosen as the main operating base for Hawk since it has been a training establishment for budding fighter pilots of the IAF since 1963.
The UK based BAE Systems, which had won the tender to supply AJT in 2004, had to supply of 66 aircraft, 24 built in the UK and 42 will be built at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bangalore under license. IAF pilots and technicians were trained at BAE systems facilities at Warton and Brough in 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.
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