Rome, November 13, 2020 – On the occasion of the visit of the Italian Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini to Doha concluded a few days ago, in the context of which – among others – various issues concerning bilateral military and technical industrial cooperation between the two countries were addressed, an important technical agreement was signed between the Italian Air Force and that of Qatar in the field of military pilots training, which also involves Leonardo SpA through the International Flight Training School (IFTS) project.
Qatar’s interest in Italian Air Force capabilities in the “pilot training” sector stems from a series of bilateral activities, culminated in July 2019 with the visit of the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Deputy Chief of Staff to the 61st Wing in Galatina, focused on the T-346A aircraft, on the potential of the ITS (Integrated Training System) and on the training programmes of the Air Force at the International Flight Training School.
The five-year government-to-government Technical Agreement, signed between the Chiefs of Staff of the respective Air Forces, will govern the legal status and the profiles of responsibility connected to the presence and training at the Italian bases of the Qatari trainees destined to the QEAF combat lines.
This agreement increases therefore the military cooperation between the two countries and in particular between the two Air Forces, in which personnel and training systems of the 46th Air Brigade based in Pisa are already thoroughly involved.
The IFTS initiative arises from the strategic collaboration between the Italian Air Force and Leonardo SpA for the construction of an advanced flight training center which will be the international reference in the training of military pilots starting from Phase IV (Advanced / Lead-In to Fighter Training). It is a virtuous example of collaboration and synergy for the country system capable of meeting the growing demand of the Air Force and partner countries for training their pilots. The project will in fact make it possible to double the current training offer through the creation of a new training center distributed between Galatina and Decimomannu air bases.
The partnership between the Italian Air Force, which has a long and consolidated experience in flight training, and Leonardo SpA, leader in integrated training, will allow the former to optimize the cost / effectiveness of flight training and the latter to strengthen its international position as a “Training Service Provider”.
Source: Italian Air Force – Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line
Photo courtesy Leonardo