Saudi Arabia rolled-out the first of 22 domestically manufactured BAE Systems Hawk Mk 165 Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) aircraft during a ceremony held on 1 April.
The event at the King Abdulaziz Air Base in the Eastern Province, which was attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, marked a major milestone in the country's Vision 2030 programme for technical expertise and economic growth.
Already a customer of the legacy Mk 65 and Mk 65A-variant Hawk, the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) ordered its first replacement batch of 22 Mk 165 AJT aircraft in 2012, with deliveries from BAE Systems' facility in Warton beginning in 2016 and running through to 2018. The 22 additional Hawks to be assembled in-country were disclosed in 2016, although at that time BAE Systems said it was unable to discuss the contract, which first appeared in its preliminary annual report for 2015.
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