Published: 12 Aug 10:26 EDT (14:26 GMT)
Hawks Built in India Cost Less: Defence Ministry
By vivek raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI - India has built the British Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) at facilities of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) at rates nearly 20 percent less than those built by BAE Systems, said a senior Indian Defence Ministry official.
The first HAL-built Hawk is ready for delivery to the Indian Air Force on Aug. 14, the official said, adding that the cost of the HAL-built Hawk is about $14.2 million per aircraft while the Hawks built by BAE cost more than $20.2 million.
As part of a $1.7 billion contract signed between HAL and BAE in 2004, 66 Hawks were to be acquired for the Indian Air Force: 24 would be supplied in fly-away condition and the remaining 42 are to be assembled and license-produced at HAL. The entire project will be executed in eight years.
In June, HAL also bagged an order to build an additional 54 Hawk AJTs for the Navy and the Air Force.
So far, BAE Systems has flown in 12 Hawks to India. The aircraft are stationed at Air Force Station Bidar, in the southern state of Karnataka. All 24 Hawks were to have been delivered by June, but that schedule has been delayed.