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India - Britain gives green light to India for Hawks Purchase (01 Jul 2003)

The India Air Force's long awaited plan to procure advanced jet trainers (AJTs) is finally receiving some headway as the British government has given the green light for the acquisition of 20 Hawk-128 AJTs for the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Previous reports stated that RAF had rejected British Aerospace-manufactured Hawk AJTs. However, further clarifications showed that the RAF would introduce 20 Hawk-128s, with a further option of another 22. The total deal is worth around 800 million pounds.

The government had told Parliament that the purchase of the AJTs has been delayed due to a hold up in price negotiations. The IAF has been demanding AJTs for the past 20 years to train recruits to fly highly demanding supersonic jets like MiG-21s. Officials say the defence ministry has now forwarded the AJT file to the Cabinet for a final decision.