Qatar Armed Forces took delivery of their first Eurofighter Typhoon in a ceremony held at BAE Systems’ facility in Warton, United Kingdom, on Monday, August 15.
BAE said the first aircraft was delivered on schedule and would ferry from the UK to Qatar later this month.
The event marks a major milestone in the program following a contract for the acquisition of 24 Typhoons under a $6.7 billion contract from 2017. Qatar is also buying Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft, Boeing-built F-15QAs, and Pilatus PC-24 training and VIP transport jets.
In addition to the aircraft deal, the UK and Qatar also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the provision of support including the stand up of joint UK-Qatar Typhoon and Hawk squadrons providing RAF pilot and technician training.
12 Squadron was re-established in July 2018 and is poised to become a joint Royal Air Force, Qatari Emiri Air Force squadron that will integrate personnel from both nations. The Typhoon that has been now delivered will join Royal Air Force Typhoons to provide support for the FIFA World Cup which will be held in Qatar from November 20.
“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,” Tony Gilchrist, Director Business Development, BAE Systems Air Sector, said.
12 Squadrons contribution to air security will be part of a wider UK Ministry of Defence support at the FIFA World Cup 2022. Additional maritime security capabilities, advanced venue search training, operational planning support, command and control support, and further specialist advice will also be provided.
According to the Eurofighter consortium, Qatar is one of nine nations to operate the Typhoon, joining Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Austria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, and Kuwait. As of July this year, the program had 680 aircraft on order, with 574 airframes delivered.