A Saudi Royal Air Force Hawk on Monday crashed during a training mission in the northwest of the peninsula, killing the crew, Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry reported on Tuesday.
Bahrain-based GDA reported on Monday that the pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the crash on the Sharma road, some 62 miles from the Jordanian border with Jordan.
The BAE Hawk is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer aircraft. Saudi Arabia acquired a total of 50 Hawks in 1985 and 1994 respectively. In August 2012, a deal for 22 Hawk “Advanced Jet Trainers” worth approximately $800 million was announced, replacing older models of Hawks in the RSAF inventory. The 2012 purchase was part of a $3 billion deal.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia ordered 44 Hawk AJTs from the UK, and Oman ordered 8. According to AINonline, this model offers the latest cockpit and training system modifications to help pilots from those countries transition to the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet. By 2011, 24 Typhoons had been delivered to Saudi Arabia, consisting of 18 single-seat and 6 two-seat aircraft. In February 2015, Saudi Typhoons attacked ISIS targets over Syria using Paveway IV bombs for the first time.
In October 2016, it was reported that BAE Systems was in talks with Saudi Arabia about an order for another 48 Eurofighter Typhoons.
According to the official SPA news agency, an investigation was launched into the cause of Monday’s crash. The agency did not elaborate on the circumstances of the crash and did not report if there were additional crew members on board.