Saudi Arabia has unveiled first locally assembled Hawk T.165 Advanced Jet Training aircraft on Sunday. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled the plane during a ceremony at King Abdulaziz Air Base in the Eastern Province, witnessed by princes and officials.
Upon arrival, the Crown Prince was briefed on the assembling and manufacturing stages of the main parts of the aircraft by Saudi youth, who comprise over 70 percent of the workforce tasked with assembling 22 Hawk aircraft.
At the ceremony, the Crown Prince signed the aircraft, and a video showed the captain asking the Crown Prince’s permission to take off.
“In the name of God, and with the blessing of God, fly above the most precious land,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.
The Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft developed by BAE Systems. Nearly 1,000 have been ordered, with aircraft delivered to 18 countries across the globe. Built on more than 35 years of fast jet training experience, Hawk has been used to train many pilots flying current and new generation combat aircraft today, with more than 3.5 million flying hours achieved.
The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) also has a fleet of Hawk T-65 and T-65A aircraft, including the Saudi Hawk acrobatic team.