Workers from BAE Systems Warton could be popping over to India after the company secured a £18.5m deal for support for the Hawk aircraft.
The news came as BAE announced its annual results which showed the company had delivered “a solid overall performance”.
Sales dipped from £18bn to £16.6bn globally but operating profits rose from £806m to £1.3bn while while underlying earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) decreased from £1.9bn to £1.7bn.
BAE Systems has signed a five-year contract to provide Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) with a comprehensive package comprising ground support equipment, spares, support and training for the Hawk Mk132 advanced jet trainer.
This is in support of HAL’s plans to establish a dedicated repair and overhaul facility for the aircraft in advance of a major servicing milestone anticipated in 2016.
The agreement was signed at the major Indian airshow, Aero India 2015, between Wing Commander Benjamin, Retd., general manager of the overhaul division, HAL and Steve Timms, managing director, Defence Information, Training and Services, Military Air and Information, BAE Systems, in the presence of HAL’s Managing Director, Bangalore Complex Naresh Babu and Chris Boardman, Managing Director, Military Air and Information, BAE Systems.
Mr Timms said: “This agreement deepens our partnering commitment to HAL and further develops HAL’s in-country capabilities that are helping to deliver an enhanced training capability to the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy.” India is the largest operator of the Hawk advanced jet trainer with 123 aircraft ordered to date, of which over 90 have been delivered to the Indian Air Force and the Indian Navy. The jets are assembled at Warton.
The Hawks in service have clocked up nearly 70,000 flying hours.
BAE Systems has commenced contract negotiations with HAL on a potential order to supply products and services for the manufacture of a further 20 Hawk aircraft.
The aircraft, to be built by HAL in Bengaluru, will fulfil the Indian Air Force’s requirement for its aerobatic team.
Speaking about the results, Ian King, chief executive, said: “In 2014, BAE Systems delivered a solid overall performance, in line with guidance. We continue to win significant new business with over £10bn of new orders from the UK and US for the third successive year. As a result, the large order backlog of £40.5bn continues to provide good, multi-year visibility across many of our businesses.
“Looking ahead, defence spending remains a high priority in a number of international markets. In the UK, we benefit from long-term contracts, notwithstanding continued pressure on public spending. We believe US budgets are now relatively stable, with some early indications of a modest improvement in 2016.
“These are competitive times and we will continue to invest in and develop the technology, skills and market positions needed to drive the business forward.”