BAE Systems won a six-year contract to deliver support and training to a new joint UK-Qatar Hawk squadron based at RAF Leeming, UK.
The company will provide Qualified Flying Instructors as part of this contract, delivering both live and synthetic training to Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots.
Noel Henderson, Head of Programme – Qatar Hawk, BAE Systems, said: “Working closely alongside the UK Ministry of Defence, we have started to mobilise this service by delivering, installing and commissioning equipment ready for the arrival of the first aircraft. We are proud to support the delivery of training expertise to the new joint squadron and we are recruiting and training personnel through our Qatari joint venture partner company BSL, which recently established a UK entity.”
On April 1, the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed plans to establish a joint operating unit with Qatar for the Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) aircraft. “The agreement will see a joint RAF & QEAF Hawk training squadron established at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire, and regular RAF Voyager deployments to Qatar to provide air-to-air refuelling (AAR) opportunities for the QEAF,” RAF had said in a news release.
The squadron will deliver Advanced Jet Training (AJT) to QEAF and RAF pilots and will be home to Qatar’s recently acquired nine Hawk T2 Mk167 aircraft, which are currently being built by BAE Systems at Warton, Lancashire.
The first joint RAF-QEAF Typhoon squadron (12 Sqn) was established at RAF Coningsby.
The RAF added, “The formation of a second UK-Qatar joint squadron will provide additional flying hours for RAF pilots and see long-term international investment in new infrastructure and training facilities at RAF Leeming. This will include a Hawk training simulator, and the refurbishment of existing facilities.”