The Eurofighter Typhoon’s introduction into Qatar has moved a step closer, with the first delivery completed on 15 August at BAE Systems’ Warton final assembly site in Lancashire.
“The first Typhoon was delivered on time and will ferry from the United Kingdom to Qatar later this month,” BAE says. “Typhoon will provide critical support for the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in the state beginning November 20,” the statement continues.
The Qatar Emiri Air Force will receive 24 Typhoons as part of a £5 billion ($6 billion) deal that also includes the purchase of nine Hawk 167 advanced jet trainers and a six-year availability support service from the UK company.
“We are collaborating with the Qatar Emiri Air Force to ensure we transfer the skills and knowledge required to support, maintain, and upgrade both their Typhoon and Hawk aircraft,” says Tony Gilchrist, BAE director of business development.
Doha will have 20 single-seat Typhoons and four two-seaters on hand. According to Cirium fleet data, five of its aircraft have flown from Warton to date, including the lead delivery, registered QA404.
The aircraft is shown alongside a variety of weapons, including the MBDA Asraam, Brimstone, Meteor, and Storm Shadow missiles, as well as Raytheon UK’s Paveway IV precision-guided bomb, in a delivery ceremony image released by BAE.
The UK and Qatar have set up joint training units for both the BAE-produced types used by Doha, with 12 Sqn flying RAF-assigned Typhoons from Coningsby in Lincolnshire and Qatar’s Hawks from Leeming in North Yorkshire.
Qatar’s introduction of multi-role Typhoons will complete a major expansion of its combat capability. Its air force is already equipped with Boeing F-15QAs and Dassault Rafale DQ/EQs.
The Typhoon’s arrival in Doha will also mark a further expansion of the type’s use in the Middle East, where it is already used by the air forces of Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
Craig Hoyle joined Flight International in 2003 and has been the title’s editor since 2015. He has been covering the UK, European, and international military aviation sectors for over 25 years and is the author of our annual World Air Forces directory.