Qatar, the ninth client nation for the Eurofighter Typhoon jointly developed by the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy, received its first Typhoon on 15 August, 2022, at a ceremony hosted by BAE Systems.
Ben Wallace, the UK secretary of state for defense, Dr. Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, the deputy prime minister of Qatar, and Major General Jassim Mohammed Ahmed Al Mannai, the commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Forces, were among the numerous BAE Systems and QAF officials who attended the ceremony at the company’s facility in Warton, UK.
The first Eurofighter fighter jet manufactured for the Qatar Air Force will arrive on schedule according to BAE Systems, and will be transported to Qatar later this month. This aircraft will contribute to ensuring air safety for the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup (from 20 November onwards).
Tony Gilchrist, Director of Business Development at BAE Systems Air Sector, said:
“Today marks the latest significant milestone in our partnership with the Qatar Armed Forces and demonstrates our commitment and support as they prepare to host the FIFA World Cup. We are working in partnership with the QEAF to ensure we transfer the skills and knowledge required to support, maintain and upgrade both their Typhoon and Hawk aircraft.”
The delivery was made in accordance with an agreement for the procurement of 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets and 9 Hawk jet trainers that was signed by the Government of Qatar and BAE Systems in December 2017. In addition, the Qatari and British governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide support for the British-Qatar Typhoon and Hawk squadrons, including RAF pilot and technician training.
Discussing the Qatar-UK partnership British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“Today’s Typhoon delivery is another exciting milestone for our joint UK-Qatar collaboration, which will see the sharing of training and expertise between our respective air forces and will ensure both our nations stay at the forefront of defense capability. This joint project underlines how much Britain values its Middle East partnerships.”
The Eurofighters will form part of one of the region’s most eclectic air forces. In June 2017, Qatar signed a $12 billion deal with the US government for 36 F-15QA fighters with the option of expanding the order to 48 fighters, and in this framework, the first F-15QA of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, which made its first flight in April 2020, was officially rolled out in August 2021, with a ceremony held at Boeing’s St. Louis facility. In addition, the US, UK, France, and Qatar Emiri Air Force signed an agreement in March 2015 for the purchase of 24 Rafale fighter aircraft. In December 2017, the Qatar Emiri Air Force made an order for 12 additional aircraft by utilizing the option clause in the initial agreement. Approximately 7.4 billion euros were spent on these two orders in total. The first of the 36 aircraft was delivered to Qatar in May 2019. Ordering an additional 36 Rafales on top of the current purchases is one of the options available to Qatar.