Subscribe Free
in Defence / Features

RBAF trains its attention on pilots

Posted 10 April 2019 · Add Comment

RBAF commander, Major General Hamad bin Abdullah al Khalifah, now has to face up to the challenge of ensuring there are enough aircrews trained to fly when the new F-16s and AH-1Zs arrive.

“We have already started that and there are pilots now training in the US for the F-16s,” he confirmed.
According to one source, there is already a Hawk pilot and one F-5 pilot in the US.
One problem the commander faces is that the Slingsby T-67 Fireflys, used for primary flying training, are currently grounded.
Student pilots are going to Egypt (Air Force Academy to fly Grob G 115EGs and Hongdu K-8s); Saudi Arabia (King Faisal Air Academy flying PC-9s and PC-21s); and United Arab Emirates (PC-7s and PC-21s at the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayad Air College).
The pilots returning from Egypt will go directly to F-5s but if they have flown in Saudi and the UAE they start flying the Hawk Mk129s and then F-5s.
It seems an odd way of doing things and, perhaps, buying a new primary trainer could be an option. But, according to another source, with only 20 pilots being trained a year there is no point in funding such a solution.
The commander confirmed the 12 F-5E/Fs, delivered more than 20 years ago, would be sticking around for a while.
“The F-5s are being used as a multi-role platform; one of the roles is to provide lead-in-fighter-training (LIFT) to the F-16s because they are supersonic, while they still continue to work in the air-to-ground mission.”
The first of two ex-RAF C-130Js acquired by the RBAF arrived on the eve of the show which, according to the commander: “Will be an excellent addition to the air force because it was the only shortfall we had. They will give us a great capability for exercises and, yes, Yemen operations, too.”
The first aircrews and technicians were trained in the UK, but it is believed that another new eight-man crew is working up with the Spanish Air Force.
On the threat from Iran, he said: “It is historic, they have been threatening us for a long time, not only as a country but also through militias. The GCC is doing much better to counter that threat and we are pleased the international coalition now understands the problem.”
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Emirates introduces A380 on Riyadh route

Emirates is introducing the first scheduled Airbus A380 service to Riyadh, effective 21 April 2019. Riyadh will be the 51st destination to join the Emirates A380 network.

Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engine achieves 10 million flying hours

The Rolls-Royce Tay 611-8 engine, which entered service in 1987, recently reached 10 million flying hours in nearly five million flights.

Airbus will participate at Turkey’s IDEF 2019

Airbus will attend Turkey’s IDEF 2019, 14th International Defence Industry Fair, held in Istanbul from April 30 to May 3.

Export Bahrain partners with Gulf Air Cargo to offer special discounts on cargo exports

Export Bahrain has signed an exclusive partnership with Gulf Air’s Falcon Cargo to provide SMEs in the Kingdom of Bahrain, exporting their goods to the tune of 100 kilograms or above, with special discount of up to 40% on their cargo

Could Al Ain be the UAE’s sleeping superstar?

Al Ain International Airport is poised for growth – cargo is already expanding and the search is on for more passenger traffic, as Alan Dron discovered.

EgyptAir takes delivery of second B787-9 Dreamliner

EgyptAir’s second B787-9 Dreamliner has arrived today at Cairo International Airport. The aircraft is slated to operate flights from Cairo to Frankfurt by April 22nd.

EBACE SK1704230519
See us at
Connect MEIA BT1402010519ACCA19_BT2141218280219