RAF News

RAF Leeming welcomes first Qatari Hawks

Personnel stand before a new Qatari Hawk aircraft and ramp.
Group Captain Blythe Crawford, RAF Leeming Station Commander, stands in front of one of the new Qatari Hawks with the Joint Hawk Training Squadron’s first Qatar Emiri Air Force student pilots. 

The first Qatar Emiri Air Force Hawk aircraft landed at RAF Leeming yesterday to join the new Joint Qatar Emiri Air Force-RAF Hawk Training Squadron.

The Joint Hawk Training Squadron will train pilots from both air forces, starting initially with a group of Qatar Emiri Air Force student pilots.

Student pilots look into a Qatari Hawk cockpit.
Joint Hawk Training Squadron’s first Qatar Emiri Air Force student pilots take a look at their Air Force’s latest aircraft.

The Squadron will eventually be home to all of Qatar’s Hawk T2 Mk167 aircraft, which are being produced by BAE Systems in the UK.

"I am delighted to welcome our Qatari friends to RAF Leeming and to work in partnership with BAE Systems to deliver world class flying training in support of both the Qatar Emiri Air Force and RAF.  This presents an exciting opportunity to share our expertise and training and the arrival of the Joint Hawk Training Squadron will be a terrific boost to Leeming as well as the local community."

Group Captain Blythe Crawford
RAF Leeming Station Commander

The Squadron will give the Qatar Emiri Air Force access to world-class UK flying training, provide RAF personnel with access to additional aircraft flying hours, and see long-term investment in station infrastructure and training facilities. 

The new Squadron and the manufacturing of its aircraft will support thousands of jobs in the UK, primarily in the North of England. 

"We look forward to showing them everything North Yorkshire has to offer and to continue the flying training legacy of Leeming and the wider Vale of York"

Group Captain Blythe Crawford
RAF Leeming Station Commander

Qatar and the UK share mutual interests in ensuring stability in the Middle East.  The Joint Hawk Training Squadron boosts Qatar’s ability to tackle our shared security challenges, which helps protect the security of the UK at home and abroad.