BAE Systems has secured 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 British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots.

BAE Systems will provide Qualified Flying Instructors (QFI) to train the QEAF and RAF pilots.

In April, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed plans to establish a joint operating unit with Qatar for the Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft.

The Hawk family of aircraft is manufactured by BAE Systems.

It has been developed in four configurations, namely the Hawk 50, the Hawk 60, Hawk 100, and Hawk 200.

BAE Systems Qatar Hawk Programme head Noel Henderson said: “Working closely alongside the UK Ministry of Defence, we have 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.

“These highly-skilled people will work alongside the QEAF and the RAF as part of the Whole Force team.”

BAE Systems noted that the company delivers availability support and training to a fleet of over 650 Hawk aircraft worldwide.

In August last year, the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Hawk Mark 127 aircraft underwent a structural testing programme conducted by engineers from BAE Systems and the Australia Defence Department.

Last October, the UK and Qatar signed a statement of intent to boost defence ties between the two countries. This agreement outlined how the UK will provide a base for the nine Hawk aircraft of QEAF acquired by it.