British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in Bangalore during his ongoing tour to India, signed a Rs 9400 crore deal for 57 advanced jet trainers with the Hindustan Aeronautic Limited on Wednesday.
The deal between the British defence group BAE Systems and the HAL was signed on Wednesday in the presence of the British Prime Minister Cameron at Bangalore.
This deal comes as a follow-up to the deal India has struck with BAE wherein India bought 24 AJTS in the year 2008. India had said then that it needed 180 more training jets. These jets, which have Rolls Royce manufactured engines, are expected to help young Indian pilots fly state-of-the-art jets.
This deal comes through after it had been dogged by a controversy couple of months back. There was a disruption in supply of spares by the BAE systems, but those issues have been taken care of and HAL would commence production under licensed production.
Once these jets are manufactured, the Indian Navy will get 17 of them. The expected delivery time would be in 36 months and the Navy had signed a Rs 3042 crore deal with the HAL in this regard.
David Cameron said that he was delighted to witness this deal and added that this was an outstanding example of India-UK defence partnership. This deal would bring about significant benefits economically to both nations, he added.
The Chairman of the BAE systems, Dick Oliver, and president of Rolls Royce, Defence, Dan Korte said that this new agreement extends their long-standing relationship with the Indian armed forces.