Hawk-i Successfully Test-Fires Smart Anti Airfield Weapon
BENGALURU: In a boost to the indigenous Hawk-i programme, defence PSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) on Thursday successfully test fired a Smart Anti Airfield Weapon (SAAW) from the Hawk-i aircraft off the coast of Odisha.
The aircraft flown by HAL test pilots Wing Commander (retd) P Awasthi and Wing Commander (retd) M Patel executed the weapon release. HAL said it was done in a textbook manner and met all mission objectives. The telemetry and tracking systems captured all the mission events confirming the success of the trials.
The indigenous stand-off weapon has been developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Research Centre Imarat (RCI). It is the first smart weapon fired from an Indian Hawk-Mk132.
The SAAW is an aircraft launched, advanced, precision strike weapon of 125kg category used to attack and destroy enemy airfield assets such as radars, bunkers, taxi tracks, runways within a range of 100 kms. SAAW has been earlier successfully test fired from Jaguar aircraft.
“HAL has been focusing on the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The Company owned Hawk-i platform is being extensively used for certification of systems and weapons developed indigenously by DRDO and CSIR labs,” HAL CMD R Madhavan said. Arup Chatterjee, director, engineering and R&D, HAL said the company is indigenously enhancing the training and combat capability of Hawk-i and that it was in discussions with Indian armed forces for integration of various weapons on Hawk platform.
“The Hawk-i is HAL’s internally funded programme offering the armed forces an upgrade and combat capability for the Hawk, transforming it into an Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT), providing training on sensors and weapons in peacetime into a potent combat platform during conflict,” an HAL statement read.