David Cameron and Vince Cable have welcomed an agreement between BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and India's leading aerospace company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, to supply 57 Hawk trainer aircraft to India.
Announced at the HAL complex in Bangalore, southern India, the deal is worth around £700m, of which over £500m is for BAE Systems and up to £200m for Rolls-Royce. It will support over 200 jobs in the UK. Today’s agreement to supply Hawk trainer aircraft follows on from a previous agreement in 2004 to supply 66 Hawk aircraft to India.
The announcement is the centrepiece of a three-day visit to India by one of the most significant UK delegations ever to visit, led by the Prime Minister and including senior Cabinet ministers, business leaders and representatives from the worlds of sport, culture and academia. The aim of the visit is to launch an enhanced partnership with India, a central plank of the coalition Government’s foreign policy, of which defence cooperation is one part.
Business Secretary Dr. Vince Cable, who witnessed the signing of the agreement alongside the Prime Minister, said that he looked for further cooperation between the UK and India on defence. “I am pleased that the Indian Government is considering the Eurofighter Typhoon for its medium multi-role combat aircraft. This bid has the full backing of UK Government,” he commented.
The Indian Government is considering the Eurofighter Typhoon in a bid supported by all four of the Eurofighter partner nations. The programme would be worth at least £5bn for over 200 UK companies in the supply chain, and would support up to 5,000 jobs in the UK.
Prime Minister David Cameron, added: “I am delighted to witness the agreement between HAL and BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce. This is an outstanding example of India-UK defence and industrial partnership, and this agreement will bring significant economic benefits to both our countries. It is evidence of our new, commercial foreign policy in action.”