Bangalore, Feb 8 (IANS) The British arm of General Dynamics Tuesday signed its first contract in India for delivering maintenance solutions and new approaches to sharing its intellectual property with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), which is manufacturing under licence the BAE Hawk advanced jet trainer for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
The company signed a 4.9 million pounds (Rs.358 million), seven-year contract with HAL to support the Indian Air Force’s fleet of Hawks, General Dynamics UK President and Managing Director Sandy Wilson said here.
Under the contract, General Dynamics will establish an overhaul capability to provide 3rd and 4th line servicing for the IAF’s and Indian Navy’s Hawk aircraft’s Stores Management System (SMS). The SMS includes two Weapons Control Panels and one Weapons Programming Unit per aircraft manufactured and supplied by General Dynamics.
“I am delighted to announce General Dynamics UK’s first Indian contract, signed less than 12 months after entering the Indian market,” Wilson said, adding that India was a key market for the company and the contract would leverage just one of the company’s core competencies in the field of avionics.
“I look forward to delivering other key capabilities to our Indian customers in the near future such as Battlefield Management System (BMS), Airfield Security and Armoured Fighting Vehicles,” Wilson added.
The company’s key activities during the contract period will include provision of Intellectual Property (IP), technical publications, training, spare parts and reference units and in-service support.
India signed a deal for 66 Hawks in March 2004 to enable the IAF provide advanced training to its rookie pilots before they graduated to sophisticated fighter jets. It will also procure another 57 planes, 17 of which will go to the Indian Navy.
The Stores Management System allows the pilot of the aircraft to monitor and operate its weapons, external pods and external fuel tanks. As part of this overall system, the Weapons Control Panels and Weapons Programming Unit allow the pilot to monitor and operate the aircraft’s weapon systems.