The trainer aircraft is a prime example of the British weapons manufacturer’s commitment to Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s “Make-in-India” concept, said Alan Garwood of BAE Systems. The “Advanced Hawk is a great example of Make-in-India, for India and Export from India,” said Garwood in a company statement.
BAE Systems teamed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to make the demonstration possible. “The UK and India have so much to offer one another in defense,” said Harriet Baldwin MP, the UK Minister for Defence Procurement, following the event.
The Advanced Hawk, which is capable of being outfitted with real weapons, allows pilots to easily transition from the trainer to F-35s or other cutting-edge aircraft, according to BAE Systems.
“The new features of the Advanced Hawk enable training activities currently performed on frontline fighter aircraft to be undertaken on the updated air platform,” the company said. The weapons suite was reported by IHS Jane’s to include Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air missiles, Brimstone air-to-surface missiles, Paveway laser guided bombs, and Isreali Rafael targeting pods.
India is the number-one operator of Hawk trainers, having ordered 123 Hawk aircraft to date. The aircraft are built in Bengaluru, and “fulfill the Indian Air Force’s requirements for its prestigious aerobatic team,” according to a statement.