The increasing acrimony over India's troubled acquisition of the Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) has come to a head with BAE Systems
summarily rejecting license-build partner HAL's $10.5-million claim for various slippages encountered during the early part of the ongoing licensed production programme. Following a report about the said claim in a newspaper, I asked BAE's India spokesman about the status of the claim. He replied, "This claim was rejected as we believe that the requirements of the contract had been met. In the limited number of cases where delivered items needed rework, this was done in accordance with the contractual provisions.
HAL first made the claim in June 2009. After attempting to get HAL to withdraw the claim and continue with the license build, BAE has finally officially refused to compensate HAL for various glitches in the license build contract that had cost implications for the latter. The BAE spokesperson further said, "HAL is now in an advanced stage of series production of the world's most successful advanced jet trainer that is revolutionising the training provided to the IAF's frontline fighter pilots. We believe the parties should focus on continuing this success story
As you might imagine, HAL sees things very differently, and doesn't believe the Indian Hawk programme is a success at all. In fact, it is precisely this and other incidents that forced HAL to recommend to the government that BAE not be benefitted with a follow-on order for 57 more Hawks (40 fo the IAF and 17 for the Navy).
Labels: AIR FORCE, Aircraft And Helicopters, Controversy, HAL, LiveFist Exclusive, UNITED KINGDOM-RELATED