NEW DELHI: European defence major BAE Systems is gearing itself to work with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 20 made-in-India Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft for the Indian Air Force’s prestigious aerobatics team, Surya Kiran. This marks the foray of BAE into new government’s ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.
This will be the third batch of the Hawk Mk132 acquired by the Indian Air Force. The Company is also expanding the scope of its partnership with HAL by exploring long-term sustainable business opportunities globally. Earlier this year, BAE Systems signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HAL for Hawk Mk132 upgrades, the development of the combat Hawk for Indian and export markets, and support solutions for the Jaguar and Hawk fleets.
These developments come at a time when the company’s India operations are going to be headed by new Vice-President and General Manager Alistair Castle with effect from January 1, 2016. Mr Castle’s taking over also coincides with Company’s efforts to support the Government’s ‘Make in India’ program through strategic partnerships and alliances.
The Company has proposed a state-of-the-art Assembly, Integration & Testing facility in India with an Indian industrial partner for the delivery of the M777 Ultra-Light Howitzers. India is set to purchase this weapon system from the United States - government deal. As part of the sale, BAE Systems has also committed to deliver a US 200 Million dollars Offset package in India. Mr Castle moves from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he is the Regional Vice President responsible for Group Business Development in South East Asia. He succeeds Mark Simpkins who concludes his second tenure in India and takes up new responsibilities based in the Middle East. Mr Castle will be responsible for leading business operations for BAE Systems in India.
He will join the BAE Systems India Board, chaired by Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC Ltd. In his first reaction, Mr Castle said, I’m delighted to join our team in India and help deliver on our commitment to our customers and the Armed Forces.?
European defence major makes foray into 'Make-in-India' initiative