AN ICONIC aircraft has been unveiled outside a Basingstoke firm in memory of the owner’s father.

The sculpture of Hawker Hunter fighter jet has taken pride of place outside the offices of Centerprise International Limited, based in Lime Tree Way, Chineham.

Today (September 19) friends, family and business associates were invited to the official unveiling of the iconic craft.

Centerprise owner Rafi Razzak wanted to have the aircraft at the entrance of the site as a memory to his father Arif Abdul Razzak, who flew in one of the jets during his service in the RAF, and Mr Razzak had the flag of Iraq painted on the tail of the plane to signify his heritage.

At the unveiling Mr Razzak said: “This was a crazy idea wasn’t it?

“As a business we work a lot with defence, so it was fitting that we have this symbol at the front of our offices to remind us of the people who have served to protect this country.”

He added: “It is doing something different and leaving a legacy behind.”

As well as the sculpture of the jet there is a display board which has the history of the Hawker Hunter, Arif Abdul Razzak’s military history and Rafi Razzak’s role in the project and the connection of Centreprise and the RAF.

Along with friends and family members in attendance at the event, there were a number of local dignitaries including Chineham ward councillor, Cllr Paul Miller, Basingstoke College of Technology principal Anthony Bravo and Chichester MP Gillian Keegan, who did the official unveiling.

Mrs Keegan said: “I hope every single one of you will be inspired when you come into work and see this incredibly iconic aircraft.”

The IT solutions provider also has another link to the Hawker Hunter, as the firms CEO, Jeremy Nash, served in the RAF as an engineer.

Mr Nash added: “There was a point when we were wondering if this jet might have been one of the ones I trained on.

“Either way it is an impressive thing to have here at Centerprise.”