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£500 million Hawk jet deal with India aids arms companies, not the poor 28.07.10

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has condemned the sale of Hawk jets to India, a country where poverty is rife and which is situated in a conflict zone. The deal was announced to coincide with Prime Minister David Cameron leading a heavy-weight ministerial and trade mission to India from 28 to 30 July. Source Campaign Against the Arms Trade

Mr Cameron’s delegation contains six cabinet members, including Foreign Secretary, William Hague, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne and Business Secretary, Vince Cable, and 50 business leaders of FTSE companies. They include arms company bosses, Dick Olver, Chairman of BAE Systems, Graham Cole, Managing Director of Agusta Westland and Miles Cowdry, Director of Global Corporate Development, Rolls Royce.

The widely trailed arms deal will see the announcement of the signing of a £500 million BAE Hawk jet contract. The 57 jets would be manufactured under licence in India with BAE’s Indian partner, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), with technical and other support from BAE in the UK.

CAAT spokesperson Kaye Stearman says:

“Although the Prime Minister has stated that the mission purpose is to build an “enhanced” relationship with India, the bottom line is making money – not least a £500 million arms deal. This announcement comes just a week after it was revealed that India has more poor people than Sub-Saharan Africa. The Hawk deal will not benefit the people of India who need food security rather than vastly expensive weapons. Nor will it benefit British taxpayers who are already subsidising UK arms exports.”

Peter Shield

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