The Indian Navy inducted the Hawk 132, a fourth generation Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, on 06 November ‘13 at an impressive ceremony held at Naval Air Station INS Dega. Admiral DK Joshi, Chief of the Naval Staff, who was the chief guest at the event, inducted the aircraft in the presence of Vice Admiral Anil Chopra PVSM AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command, various other Flag and senior officers of the Navy, as well as senior management from HAL and representatives of British Aerospace (BAe) and Rolls Royce. The aircraft is licensed to be built by HAL, Bengaluru with Transfer of Technology from BAe, UK. Four aircraft have been delivered to the Navy, marking the beginning of seventeen such fighter trainers to be acquired over the next few years.
Hawk 132 is equipped with advanced navigation systems and an impressive array of weaponry including air-to-air missiles, airto- ground rockets, bombs and guns. It can also carry two extra fuel tanks under the wing, which extend its considerable strike range further. The HOTAS (Hands on Throttle and Stick) system on the control column and throttle allows the pilot to make weapon selections without moving his hands from the controls.
Claimed as a proven aircraft operating with over 24 nations around the world, Hawk 132 will be used for training Indian Navy’s combat pilots , bridging the gap between basic flying training and advanced fighter flying. The Hawk will provide naval pilots an ideal platform to hone their skills before they graduate to flying high performance aircraft and carrier based fighter jets, thereby making them available operationally in a shorter span of time. Whilst an array of maritime reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters operate from INS Dega, the premier Naval Air Station on the Eastern seaboard, the addition of a fighter squadron of Hawk 132s will lead to a quantum jump in its operational versatility.