India’s procurement of additional British Hawk advanced jet trainers (AJTs) could be delayed after a crucial file was reported to have gone missing from the defense ministry offices.
According to local media reports, the Ministry of Defense has ordered an inquiry into how the file went missing.
An investigation has already been launched, according to the Times of India. The file that has now gone missing dealt with the procurement of another 20 AJTs for the Indian Air Force’s famous Surya Kiran aerobatics team, which has not flown for the last three years due to a lack of proper aircraft.
In 2012, India’s defense public sector unit Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) sent out a Request For Proposal (RFP) to BAE Systems for potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of 20 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft. HAL will build the Hawk advanced trainer jet in Bangalore that will be used in the Indian Air Force's aerobatic team. This is the third contract that is placed by the HAL for the supply of materials and equipment for the aircraft.
In 2004, India had signed a deal for 66 Hawks and in 2010 placed an order for 57 jet trainer of which 17 were to be deployed with the Indian Navy. of combat flying.
The Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer is a dual seat multi-purpose aircraft powered by a single Rolls Royce Adour Mk.871 engine. The Hawk AJT is primarily used for basic, advanced and weapons training of the pilots. However, the Aircraft has the capabilities to be used as a ground attack aircraft or for air defence.
This is the second time in recent years that a crucial procurement file has gone missing from the MoD. A key file connected to the $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project for acquisition of 126 fighters had also vanished three years ago, just when the high-voltage competition was coming to a close, the report added. It was later found from a locality in New Delhi under mysterious circumstances and handed over to the IAF by a civilian.