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Tuesday, October 30, 2007 : 1725 Hrs

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    First four Hawks to arrive by mid-November: Major

    Bangalore (PTI): The first four of the advanced jet trainers Hawks, for which India had placed orders with the UK, will arrive in the country by mid-November, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal F H Major said on Monday.

    "The first four Hawks will arrive at Bidar in another two weeks," he told reporters on the sidelines of a two-day Helicopter technology conference which began here on Monday.

    The "Hawks" will be stationed at the Bidar Air Force training centre in Karnataka.

    "India is currently in the process of a comprehensive capacity building exercise. Military aviation is in the process of a major transformation. You will not recognise the IAF five years down the line," he said.

    "IAF is now making a serious attempt to reduce its complex, multiple inventories. We want lesser types so that it is easier to maintain. We are already phasing out old MiG 23s and Jaguars," Major said.

    Under the proposed MRCA (multi-role combat aircraft) deal, India would acquire 126 fighters. "This would throw up a golden opportunity for the Indian aerospace industry to flourish like never before as it offered Rs 22,000 crores as offsets -- 50 per cent of the rough project cost of Rs 45,000 crore," he said.

    "One can expect the first induction of MRCA by 2012," he said.

    To a query on electronic warfare, he said "we should get the first AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) by August 2008".


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