India is considering buying 20 additional Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) from BAE Systems to equip the Indian air force’s aerobatics team.

The aircraft, to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) in Bengaluru, are expected to cost more than 20 billion rupees ($340 million).

“Upon successful conclusion, this would be [our] third contract for the supply of materials and equipment for the Hawk Mk. 132, building upon previous orders of 66 aircraft in 2004 and a further 57 aircraft in 2010,” says a senior BAE official. “Under these contracts, we have worked closely with the Indian defense ministry and HAL to establish a production line in India where the aircraft are now assembled,” he adds.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to build on the success of Hawks in India and demonstrates the progress we are making in capturing significant opportunities to address the defense modernization requirements of the Indian government,” says Guy Griffiths, BAE’s group managing director-international. “Together with HAL, we look forward to giving the Indian air force’s display team a fantastic aircraft.”

The potential addition to the Indian fleet, one of the largest Hawk fleets in the world, would take the number of Hawks ordered to more than 1,000.

BAE Systems and HAL are also discussing the possibility of long-term, sustainable business opportunities globally, the official says.

Hawk ATJ photo: BAE Systems