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NEW DELHI (AFP) - India plans to buy 40 Hawk trainer jets for its air force from British Aerospace (BAe) in addition to 66 purchased for 1.45 billion dollars in 2004, officials said Wednesday.
The air force is in a hurry to acquire more trainers to ready rookie pilots for 126 new fighter aircraft India is set to acquire for more than 10 billion dollars later this year.
"The deal (for the 40 trainers) is now as good as done," a senior air force commander told AFP on condition of anonymity
Sources close to HAL say talks between the company and BAE over a possible shift of all Hawk production to India are also continuing. "Discussions are still at the early stages. The companies are talking about forming a joint venture, and it makes sense for HAL, given that it has already invested heavily in facilities for manufacturing the Hawk," says one.