The first two Hawk Mk167s with the Qatar Emiri Air Force markings were delivered to RAF Leeming to join the joint Hawk training squadron.
The first two BAE Systems Hawk Mk167 jet trainers for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) landed at RAF Leeming, UK, on Sept. 1, 2021. The aircraft sport an overall black color scheme, QEAF markings and RAF serials (ZB131 and ZB133) and flew as “SCARAB1” and “SCARAB2”.
The two Hawk Mk167 (T2 in the RAF nomenclature) aircraft are going to be part of the joint Hawk training squadron at RAF Leeming. Similarly to what has been done with 12 Sqn, the joint RAF-QEAF Typhoon squadron at RAF Coningsby, the joint Hawk 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.
“The decision to base the new squadron at RAF Leeming represents a long-term commitment to the base, which provides a strategic and operational Main Operating Base for the RAF,” says a RAF press release on the joint squadron issued earlier this year.
“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.”
BAE Systems 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.
The photos of the new aircraft that you can find in this post were taken by photographer Martin Fox.
“As a son of an RAF flight simulator technician I grew up in an aviation environment which nurtured my passion for aviation,” Martin told us in a message. “My interest for aviation photography started in 1979 and has grown over the years with me growing a massive slide and digital collection. I work for a major contractor in the defence industry having served in the RAF and Army, which has kept my passion alive over the past 42 years. [Yesterday] I was heading home from Glasgow where I had been with work and got the heads up they were being delivered today, so as I was going to be passing by Leeming I decided to stop and shoot them.”
H/T to our friend Rich Cooper for the heads up!
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.