Italy, Qatar sign technical agreement for military pilot training

Italy Qatar military pilot training
Italian Air Force T-346A advanced trainer jets. The T-346A is the backbone of the International Flight Training School which was born from the collaboration between Italian Air Force and Leonardo SpA.

Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini recently met with the Qatari Minister of State for Defense HE Dr. Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah in Doha to strengthen cooperation in defense between Italy and Qatar. The two officers signed an important collaboration agreement between the Italian Air Force (ITAF) and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) which provides for the training of Qatari military pilots at the ITAF-Leonardo International Flight Training School (IFTS).

Qatar's interest in the pilot training capabilities of the Italian Air Force is the result of a series of bilateral activities, including the visit in July 2019 of the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Qatar Emiri Air Force to the 61st Wing in Galatina, Italy. This visit was focused on the T-346A advanced jet trainer, on the capabilities of the Integrated Training System (ITS) and the training programs of the Italian Air Force through the IFTS.

The five-year Technical Agreement Gov To Gov signed between the two Air Forces regulates the legal status and responsibilities related to the presence and training at the Italian air bases of the Qatari pilot students destined for the QEAF fighter aircraft.

The IFTS initiative was born from the strategic collaboration between the Italian Air Force and Leonardo SpA for the establishment of an advanced flight training center as an international reference in the training of military pilots starting from Phase IV (Advanced/Lead-In to Fighter Training). It represents an excellent example of national collaboration and synergy capable of satisfying the growing demand of the Italian Air Force and partner countries for the training of their pilots. The project will make it possible to double the current training offer through the enstablishment of new training centers at Galatina AB, South Italy and Decimomannu AB, Sardinia.

The partnership between the Italian Air Force, which boasts a long experience in flight training, and Leonardo SpA, a leader in integrated training systems, will allow the armed force to optimize the cost/effectiveness of flight training while the company will strengthen its international role as a "Training Service Provider".

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Image: Italian Air Force

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