RAF Valley, UK: Two courses of six IAF flying instructors each will now undergo training on the Indian version of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers between June and September this year. The training will take place on the same version of the aircraft that will eventually train the next generation of Indian Air Force pilots.
As part of the contract to supply a total training solution, which includes 66 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft, BAE Systems and the RAF will deliver a "Convex Flying Programme" that will first convert qualified Indian Air Force (IAF) flying instructors and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) test pilots onto the new Indian Hawk.
Once these Hawks are delivered to the Indian Air Force later this year, these instructors will take on responsibility for training younger pilots who will then become the IAF's frontline pilots.
The first stage of the programme is ground school training, carried out at RAF Valley by BAE Systems specialists. Following this stage the instructors return to the BAE Systems Warton site to carry out sea survival training and the BAE Systems Brough site for avionics training before commencing their flying training at Warton. Each IAF instructor will fly 15 training sorties on the new Indian Hawks before qualifying.
Rod Harrison, Hawk India Flying Training Manager, said: "We have been training 75 IAF student pilots throughout the course of the India Interim Flying Training programme, which concludes in May 2008. These pilots have been training on the RAF TMk1 Hawks. This next stage of flying training sees experienced instructors introduced to their new Indian Hawk AJTs.
"It's an exciting step forward for the pilots and by training on the world's leading advanced jet trainer the pilots couldn't be better prepared for frontline aircraft."
Three aircraft are being used in the training programme out of the 66 new Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers for the IAF.
The first 24 aircraft are being built at BAE Systems facilities in Brough, East Yorkshire, with flight-testing taking place at Warton in Lancashire. The remaining 42 aircraft are being manufactured under licence in India through a partnership with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, based in Bangalore.
BAE Systems is a global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. BAE Systems' sales exceeded £13.7 billion pounds sterling (US$25.4 billion) in 2006.