Warton, United Kingdom. – The first batch of Indian Air Force (IAF) technicians who will be trained by BAE Systems on how to maintain the IAF’s Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft have arrived at the company’s Warton site.
Over the next few months, the IAF technicians will visit the UK to get an understanding of how to maintain the aircraft. The tuition will continue when they return to India, with a further three-month on-the-job programme at the Indian Hawk’s main base at Air Force Station Bidar.
This training forms part of a comprehensive ground-based training system that is being provided to the IAF under the Indian Hawk contract. As well as the provision of technician training, the system includes synthetic training devices, currently being manufactured by BAE Systems Australia, and a computer-aided learning system. This system will be installed in purpose-built training facility at Air Force Station Bidar by the end of 2007.
Pete Rakovic of the BAE Systems Training Solutions team explained: “The Indian Hawk contract specified a need for technician training so a training needs analysis was carried out by BAE Systems. This gave us the chance to understand the training philosophy of the IAF and the exact training that would be required. From this analysis the training programme was developed to specifically meet the training requirements of the Indian Air Force.”
The UK training finishes in September with the Indian in-country on-the-job programme following on. “The sheer number of people arriving over the summer presents a terrific challenge, especially in terms of accommodation. We’ve had to book the whole of a local hotel between April and September,” added Pete. “We arranged for chefs from the hotel and our on-site caterer, to go to London to get training in preparing the type of food our visitors are used to.
“We also put together an orientation pack, which tells them all about the area, and gives advice on practical issues such as the weather, what to wear and so on, aiming to ensure they feel as much at home as they can.”
To ensure the IAF personnel, who range from mechanical and electronics officers through to the six different aircraft technician specialisations, become familiar with their own aircraft right away, three of the Indian-bound Hawks that are rolling off the production facility at BAE Systems’ sites at Brough and Warton will be used at the Technical Training Academy at Warton where the IAF technicians will undergo their training.
The technician training is part of the contract that will see the IAF receive 66 Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, 24 of which will be built in the UK by BAE Systems, with the remainder built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bangalore.