training programme were sent to Anglesey in Wales during July 2004 to begin advanced jet training with the Royal Air Force, which would go on till February 2008. In all, some 75 IAF pilots received training in batches at this busiest of RAF air bases.
The ‘ Hawk Interim Indian Flying Training’, as the programme was called, comprised eight weeks of theory and simulators, 20 weeks of advanced flying, three weeks of tactical weapons simulation and 14 weeks of live tactical weapons training. The first batch of 6 IAF pilots graduated from RAF Valley on 23 May 2005 even as BAE Systems delivered the first ‘made for India’ Hawk Mk.132 advanced jet trainer. BAE Systems reported then that “the Indian programme is moving at a terrific pace; as well as HT001’s first flight we have a number aircraft in final assembly, and have shipped the fuselages of additional aircraft that will be assembled by HAL in India in India. This is in addition to us managing the delivery of over 1,500 tonnes of raw material, 3,500 tools and around 15 million components to HAL in Bangalore” !