Hawks coming, training on MiGs to go
Bidar, March 18
Come 2007 and Bidar skies will reverberate with the deafening sound of Hawk advanced jet trainers(AJTs).
The descent of Hawks on Bidar will metamorphose this ghostly town into a hub of fighter aircraft training in India.
The arrival of the first batch of hawks, each priced at Rs 85 crore, by mid 2007 will lead to a gradual phasing out of training on MiG 21s having somewhat improper safety recore.
"The phase 4 and 5 training is currently done on MiGs which means that a cadet is straightaway put on supersonic systems from a subsonic trainee aircraft like Kiran.
"The coming of Hawks will create a better training regimen and ambience," said Air Commodore Jatinder Singh Dhillon, Commandant, Bidar Air Force Station.
In fact, it was a two-decade-old demand of the Indian Air Force to have such AJTs to facilitate transitional training, he added.
As per the contract inked with the British Aerospace in March 2004, out of a total of 66 Hawks, 24 will be offered on flyaway basis and rest will be manufactured in India by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
A sum of Rs 140 crore has already been sanctioned so that Bidar air base can be spruced up to house AJTs.