HUNTER GETS IRAQI SCHEME

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A Hunter painted in the attractive markings of the Iraqi Air Force makes for an unusual sight on an industrial estate in Basingstoke. ADRIAN M. BALCH

During the fi rst week of May, former Royal Danish Air Force Hawker Hunter F51 E-408 was mounted in front of the Centerprise International offi ces just outside Basingstoke, wearing the markings of an Iraqi Air Force Hunter FGA9 fl own by the company chairman Rafi Razzak’s father, Sqn Ldr G. Arif A. Razzak, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Originally delivered to Eskadrille 724 in Denmark during 1956, the Hunter was retired in 1974 and bought back by Hawker Siddeley in 1976 with the intention of refurbishing and reselling it. However, E-408 failed to fi nd a buyer and was eventually allocated to RAF Brawdy for display. Once Brawdy found a more appropriate example of the Hunter — FGA9 XE624 — E-408 moved on to Cranwell and was painted as XF979. Several other owners followed before it was acquired from North Scarle, Lincolnshire in 2018 by Rafi Razzak and delivered to Lee-on-Solent on 6 July 2018, where it spent the following 10 months being restored and repainted in Iraqi markings by Mark Masters of CAV Aircraft Services. It emerged again on 3 May with the markings ‘349’ before delivery to its new home in north Hampshire. Adrian M. Balch