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BAE joins IAF blame game on Hawk spares
Posted online: Thursday , June 05, 2008 at 2323 hrs IST
New Delhi, Jun 4 Even as Indian Air Force cries foul over spares supply by its UK suppliers, BAE Systems has put a question mark on the optimal utilisation of Hawk advance jet trainers fleet by the services. Sources talking to FE on condition of anonymity said that, "There will be serviceability problems. The Indian Air Forcedid not order the required spares until very late and not all those spares have been received yet because of long lead times for manufacturing."
The supplementary spares package which contains 1400 lines of spares, was submitted in February 2006 and was not contracted until January 2008 despite repeated reminders, sources said. This follows claims by the IAF there are problems with servicability of the aircraft as the UK based BAE Systems is not fulfilling its commitment of supplying of modern spare parts for the aircraft.
Sources also revealed that the Hawk AJTis just being flown by Indian Air Force for merely a few hours a week. â€œThe Bidar air force station in Karnataka which is currently getting ready to train the IAF cadets is hardly flying the aircraft for more than a few hours a week. So, how can there be a question of serviceability, when the machines are not being used,"sources pointed out.
The report of the court of inquiry that was ordered by the Indian Air Force (IAF) into the mishap which led to the British Hawk AJT, valued around Rs 85 crore, being completely destroyed, is expected to come out with its report shortly.