British aircraft maker BAE Systems will deliver the first 'made for India' Hawk 132 advanced jet trainer to the air force before the next Aero India air show in February 2007.
"The first Hawk will be flown by the IAF by end 2006 and is expected to be accepted by India in early 2007. We hope to bring it in the next air show," BAE Systems Senior Military Advisor, Air Chief Marshal Sir John Day told reporters in Bangalore on Monday night.
He said about seven Hawk aircraft were being built by BAE Systems' unit at Brough, East Yorkshire in the UK.
India inked a $1.45-billion deal last March after negotiations for 18 years. BAE Systems would produce 22 Hawks, while India's public sector aircraft maker Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd will build 44 at its Bangalore unit.
BAE Systems India Executive Vice-President Mike Armstrong said the British aerospace firm was currently training 20 IAF pilots in the UK. Another 50 pilots would be trained on the Hawk AJT, he said.
"The Indian government is very content with the agreement," he said when asked about India's concerns over guarantee of supply of US components used in the aircraft.