MoD clears IAF proposal for 20 additional Hawk AJTs

New Delhi: The defence acquisition council of India's ministry of defence has cleared an Indian Air Force proposal for the purchase of 20 new Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs) at a cost of around Rs3,600 crore. This will be in addition to the 124 AJTs already on order.

The overall Hawk AJT project, with 24 supplied directly by BAE Systems and 122 to be licenced manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in India, will finally cost around Rs20,000 crore by the time its completed by 2016-17.

The first 123 Hawks are meant to graduate rookie fighter pilots to more advanced fighter platforms. The latest order for 20 is meant to replace ageing aircraft of the IAF's crack aerobatics team, the Suryakirans.

So far, about 55 Hawks have been inducted, including the first 24 manufactured by BAE Systems.