Home DefenseDefence A new Joint Hawk Training Squadron has been formed between Qatar and the RAF.

A new Joint Hawk Training Squadron has been formed between Qatar and the RAF.

by Mahua Special Editor

The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, British Defense Secretary, and Qatari Minister of State for Defense His Excellency Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah officially unveiled a new Joint Hawk Training Squadron at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire on November 24, 2021. In contrast to the joint RAF/Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoon Squadron, which has an RAF “numberplate,” the new unit uses a Qatar Emiri Air Force unit designation, as 11 Squadron, QEAF.

After years of close cooperation between the Royal Air Force and Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF), a new Joint Squadron has been established to enhance both Air Forces’ capabilities and especially their ability to work together in joint operations.

The Squadron’s nine new Hawk Mk 167s, which bear Qatari national insignia but British military serial numbers, will be used to train both QEAF and RAF pilots. On the tailfins of two of the planes are the crossed swords and wings emblems of 11 Squadron.

Four BAE Systems instructors and one RAF “secondee” have been training at RAF Leeming for some time to prepare for the first four QEAF student pilots to begin Hawk training in October. They’ve finished their ground school and will be getting their pilot’s licence soon. Students from the Royal Air Force (RAF) will join the Squadron in 2022 to train alongside their Qatari counterparts, with the goal of training eight Qatari pilots per year at the time.

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