Defence Minister to formally induct Hawk AJT into Airforce tomorrow

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Bidar, Karnataka, Feb 22 (UNI) In a milestone event, the Indian Airforce Force will induct the British built Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJT) into service at the Airforce station here tomorrow.

Defence Minister A K Antony would dedicate eight AJTs for which the IAF, the fourth largest airforce in the world, had waited for more than two decades after a great deal of negotiations which culminated in signing agreement with U.K based BAE Systems in 2004.

The BAE Systems designed and developed AJT will be crucial for the Air Force which had faced the dearth of a modern jet trainer which was important for IAF's future fighter pilots to graduate into flying the demanding MIGs, Jaguar and Sukhoi multirole fighters.

Eight direct supply Hawks have arrived at the air station from Britain and they would be inducted at a ceremonial dedication tomorrow morning.

In one of the biggest defence deals worth around USD 1.75 billion, India is buying 66 Hawk AJTs with 24 of these aircraft being built in UK and the remaining manufactured under license to build in India by Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

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