Defense Minister of Qatar visits Leonardo facilities

The visit confirmed Qatar's procurement of AW169 helicopters.

Defense Minister Qatar visits Leonardo
Leonardo M346 multi-role aircraft at the Venegono Superiore factory, Italy. The M346 will be
flown by Qatari students during their training at the International Flight Training School.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense of Qatar Dr. Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah recently went to Italy to visit some of Leonardo's production plants. His tour involved Venegono Superiore where the Italian aerospace company assembles the M345 and M346 jet trainers.

This visit comes within the framework of exploring the facilities of the International Flight Training School (IFTS) to determine its readiness to receive the first Qatar pilots as per the agreement signed by Dr. Khalid and the Italian defense minister in November 2020. The Qatari students are expected to begin their advanced training in Italy starting next April.

While in Venegono, Dr Khalid, a former military pilot, had the opportunity to take a flight in the M346 advanced trainer aircraft to learn more about the training program designed for Qatar Emiri Air Force pilots.

Dr Khalid also visited the Leonardo plants in Vergiate and Venice-Tessera where the AW169 and NH90 helicopters destined for Qatar are assembled respectively. While the order for the NH90 was known, that for the AW169 has proved a surprise as it had not yet been officially announced. It emerged from a photo posted by Qatari Ministry of Defence showing Dr Khalid next to an AW169 painted in the livery of Qatar’s Al-Zaeem Air College.

Qatar order Leonardo AW169 helicopter

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credits: Leonardo, Qatari Ministry of Defence

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