Qatari Commitment to Hawk and Typhoon May Save Jobs

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UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah, signed a Statement of Intent on September 15 concerning Qatar’s proposed purchase of 24 Typhoon aircraft. Not mentioned at the time, but referred to by UK Prime Minister Theresa May during questions in the House of Commons on October 11, was Qatar’s acquisition of six BAE Hawk trainers, presumably to be used as lead-in fighter trainers for the Typhoons. When confirmed, the deal will go some way to alleviating BAE Military Air & Information workers’ concerns after the company announced in early October the shedding of more than 1,400 workers at facilities across the UK, because of shrinking order books for both types and the retirement of the RAF’s Tornado fleet. BAE estimates it has enough work to keep the Hawk and Typhoon lines going until 2019 and 2021 respectively. The company says it is confident of securing a further order for Typhoon from Saudi Arabia to whom it has recently delivered the last of an order for 72 under Project Salam.

COVER CREDITS MAIN IMAGE: Textron Aviation LEFT INSET: Louis Briscese/US Air Force MIDDLE INSET: :Paul Buchroeder/AirTeamImages RIGHT INSET: Saab