Qatar receives M-346 advanced trainer jets

Qatar buy Leonardo M346
Rafale and M-346 aircraft on static display at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

Qatar has officially procured six Leonardo M-346 advanced trainer aircraft.

We can now confirm the rumors that have been circulating in the last couple of days after the Qatari government released images showing an M-346 with the Qatari flag.

The M-346s were ordered as part of a Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) pilot training agreement at International Flight Training School (IFTS), Italy, with the first jets appearing in Qatar during a student pilot graduation ceremony at Al Udeid Air Base on 26 January.

During the ceremony the Italian-made aircraft were shown in the air and on the ground. A pair of M-346s took part in the military air parade flying over high authorities, while a third M-346 was on static display between a Boeing F-15QA and a Dassault Rafale. The jet on the ground sported the QEAF insignia on top of the tail rudder, above that of the IFTS.

Qatar is confirmed as the undisclosed customer for 6 M-346s announced by Leonardo last year.

Qatar has also ordered nine Bae Hawk advanced trainer aircraft, which it has already started basing at RAF Leeming, UK, under the UK-Qatar Joint Training Squadron.

Qatar buy Leonardo M346

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Government of Qatar (the first), Nasser (the second)

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