On Monday, 15 August 2022, the first Typhoon aircraft was delivered to the Qatar Emiri Air Force at a roll-out ceremony hosted by Cliff Robson, BAE Systems Group, Managing Director Air. The event was held at BAE Systems’ facility in Warton, United Kingdom, under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and in the presence of Commander Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), Major General Jassim Mohammed Ahmed Al Mannai. The first Typhoon has been delivered on schedule and will ferry from the UK to Qatar later this month. Typhoon will provide critical support for the FIFA World Cup which will be held in the State from 20 November. The event marks a major milestone in the programme following a contract for the acquisition of many Typhoons and Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft and a six-year availability support service signed between the Government of Qatar and BAE Systems in December 2017.
“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.
“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 defence capability. This joint project underlines how much Britain values its Middle East partnerships,” Rt Hon Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence said.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a European multinational twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH. The NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, representing the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain, manages the project and is the prime customer. The aircraft’s development effectively began in 1983 with the Future European Fighter Aircraft programme, a multinational collaboration among the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Previously, Germany, Italy and the UK had jointly developed and deployed the Panavia Tornado combat aircraft and desired to collaborate on a new project, with additional participating EU nations. However disagreements over design authority and operational requirements led France to leave the consortium to develop the Dassault Rafale independently.
From January 2011 the Qatar Air Force (QEAF) evaluated the Typhoon, alongside the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle, the Dassault Rafale, and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, to replace its then inventory of Dassault Mirage 2000-5s. On 30 April 2015 Qatar announced that it would order 24 Rafales. In December 2017 a deal for Qatar to buy 24 jets and a support and training package from BAE was announced, scheduled to begin in 2022. The deal was announced in Doha by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah. In September 2018, Qatar made the first payment for the procurement of 24 Eurofighter Typhoons and nine BAE Hawk aircraft to BAE. The UK’s deal with Qatar also includes an agreement with MBDA for Brimstone air-launched ground attack missiles and Meteor active radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and Raytheon’s Paveway IV laser-guided bomb. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Qatar and the UK was signed for the provision of support including the stand up of joint UK-Qatar Typhoon and Hawk squadrons providing RAF pilot and technician training.