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NEW DELHI: Production quality of the country's only aircraft manufacturer, defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), is once again under the scanner after the crash of a Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) last month.
Sources said "quill-shaft failure" in the engine has emerged as the prime reason behind the crash of the twin-seat Hawk AJT, which went down in Odisha while on a training sortie from the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal on June 3. Fortunately, the two pilots managed to eject safely.
HAL is tasked with manufacturing 99 of the 123 Hawks ordered from BAE Systems, with transfer of technology, in the overall AJT project already worth well over Rs 16,000 crore till now. But the entire endeavor has been marred by politico-bureaucratic apathy, poor long-term planning, flawed multiple contracts and delayed delivery schedules.