Defence

India HAL-built Hawk-i successfully test fires anti-airfield weapon

Photo: Hawk-i, an HAL-funded advanced jet trainer programme.

Bengaluru: In a big boost to indigenisation of defence industrial capability, India‘s state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) today successfully test-fired a Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from the Hawk-i aircraft off the coast of Odisha.

The indigenous stand-off weapon developed by Research Centre Imarat (RCI), a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), is the first smart weapon fired from an India-made Hawk-Mk132, a product of the BAE Systems that is now being license-produced at the HAL facility here.

“HAL has been focusing on the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat‘ campaign. The company-owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed indigenously by DRDO and CSIR labs,” said HAL Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan.

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The aircraft, flown by HAL test pilots Wing Commander (Retired) P. Awasthi and Wing Commander (Retired) M. Patel, executed the weapon release in a text book manner and all mission objectives were met. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events confirming the success of the trials.

HAL Director for Engineering and Research and Development Arup Chatterjee said the company is indigenously enhancing the training and combat capability of Hawk-i. HAL is in discussions with Indian armed forces for integration of various weapons on Hawk platform.

The Hawk-i is HAL’s internally-funded programme, offering the Indian armed forces an upgrade and combat capability for the Hawk, transforming it into an Advanced Jet Trainer providing training on sensors and weapons in peacetime into a potent combat platform during conflict.

The SAAW is an aircraft-launched, advanced, precision strike weapon of 125-kg category, used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, runways within a range of 100 km. SAAW has been earlier successfully test fired from a Jaguar aircraft.

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