New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has provided "interim acceptance" of the first six Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) made by the BAE Systems, three of which are now being used to train IAF instructor pilots at Warton in Britain under a programme run by the BAE Systems and the Royal Air Force (RAF).
The training will be extended to include Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) test pilots this month. So far, under the overall aircrew-training package, 50 IAF pilots have received training on the RAF's older Hawk jets based at the RAF Valley in Wales, according to official sources here.
According to a BAE Systems statement, the interim acceptance "represents the IAF agreeing that the aircraft meets the standard required to allow instructor pilot and maintenance training to commence.
"The other three Hawks that have been through the interim acceptance process are now in the Technical Training Academy at the BAE Systems in Warton, where they are being used to train IAF technicians, who will support and maintain the aircraft when it enters service."
The six jets are the first lot of the total 66 new Hawk trainers contracted for by the IAF. While the first 24 aircraft are being built at the BAE Systems facilities in Brough in East Yorkshire, the remaining 42 jets will be constructed under licence in India by HAL.