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BAE Systems awarded Qatari training support contract

The United Kingdom's BAE Systems has been awarded a six-year contract to support the training operations of the joint UK-Qatar Hawk squadron.

Under the contract BAE Systems will deliver live and synthetic training to Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and UK Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots.

BAE Systems' Noel Henderson, Head of Programme – Qatar Hawk, said in a statement that the company has “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.”

Synthetic aircrew training devices, including full mission simulators, desktop trainers, and avionics training equipment, are being provided by L3Harris Technologies as part of the contract. The equipment will be managed by BAE Systems as part of the support contract with the facilities and infrastructure to host the training devices at RAF Leeming provided and owned by the UK Ministry of Defence.

Based at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire, the training squadron will operate BAE Systems Hawk Mk 167 advanced jet trainers that were acquired by the QEAF in support of its acquisition of Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat aircraft.

Qatar-based BSL is a joint venture between BAE Systems (49%) and Qatari firm Strategic Aerospace Services LLC (51%). The business undertakes “skilled resource services”, as well as training and maintenance services. The company's maintenance operations will provide workers to support the QEAF Typhoon and Hawk aircraft for operational and training use.

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