Indigenously developed ’Combat Hawk’ to showcase in Aero India
Bengaluru: The indigenously developed combat version of advanced jet trainer aircraft "Hawk" will be showcased here at the Aero India, a biennial air show of India.
The state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is hoping that the Combat Hawk will be an ideal export product besides being used domestically.
Sources said a foreign country has already evinced interest in the product.
They said such an aircraft, slower than a fighter jet, can be useful for operations in forested areas and in low mountains.
Moreover, many countries cannot afford to spend big on bigger fighter aircraft and hence the project has a lot of export potential.
"Combat Hawk" involves fitting air-to-air missiles and air-to-ground guns, besides, rockets and bombs to the plane which is currently used as trainer aircraft for fighter pilots before they enter into an actual fighter jet.
HAL had in 2015 signed an MoU with BAE Systems UK for upgradation of Hawk Mk132, development of Combat Hawk for Indian and export markets and maintenance solutions for supporting Jaguar and Hawk fleet.
The aircraft has the capabilities to be used as a ground attack aircraft or for air defence.
The plane is being produced at HAL under licence from BAE. The first aircraft was handed over to IAF in August 2008.
Production programme of 42 Hawks to IAF was concluded in 2011-12.
Further, second contract was signed between IAF and HAL in July 2010 for supply of 40 of Hawk advance jet trainer and associated equipment.
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