Qatar Emiri Air Force F-15QA Ababil Fighters
Qatar Emiri Air Force F-15QA Ababil Fighters

Boeing Delivers Final Batch of F-15QA Ababil Fighters to Qatar Emiri Air Force

Boeing has delivered the last batch of F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) Ababil combat aircraft ordered for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF, Al-Quwwat Al-Jawiyyah Al-Amiriyyah Al-Qatariyyah). The final five of the 36 F-15QA fighters ordered by Qatar have been confirmed as delivered by Boeing. Boeing was awarded a contract to manufacture 36 F-15QA fighter jets for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) production numbers for the Qatar Emiri Air Force were retained in the order of 17-0001 to 17-0036. However, during the assembly process, two aircraft were transferred to the U.S. Air Force as F-15EX 20-0001 and 20-0002. One of the aircraft crashed on May 18, 2021, on the runway at Scott Air Force Base, IL. The pilots ejected. Thus, to fulfill the Qatari order, aircraft numbers 17-0037 and 17-0038 were added to production.

The F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) is the most advanced produced by Boeing to date and serves as the airframe and avionics baseline for the U.S. Air Force’s F-15EX. The aircraft features new outer wing hardpoints for increased payload, AN/APG-82(V)1 Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) for both the pilot and the Weapon Systems Officer (WSO), 10×19-in Large Area Displays (LADs) and low-profile Head-Up Display (HUD) in both cockpits, digital fly-by-wire and General Electric F110-GE-129 engines. A new feature that equips the F-15QA is the Missile Approach Warning System (MAWS) sensors at the end of the tail booms and below the cockpit. The AN/AAR-57A(V) Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) produced by BAE Systems that could be most probably coupled with the AN/ALQ-239 Digital Electronics Warfare Systems (DEWS).

Qatar’s inaugural F-15QA fighter took its first flight in Boeing’s St. Louis on April 14, 2020. The new aircraft are intended to replace the French Mirage 2000-5F. Boeing has formally rolled out its new F-15QA ‘Ababil’ fighter for the Qatar Emiri Air Force, with ferry flights to commence later this year. Ababil means a flock of birds. It refers to the miraculous birds in Islamic belief that protected the Kaaba in Makka from the Aksumite elephant army of Abraha. It includes unmatched payload, range and speed. F-15QA brings digital fly-by-wire controls, an advanced cockpit system with glass displays and state-of-the-art electronic weapon systems and includes almost three miles of high-speed data cable to ensure it overcomes any threat. The roll out took place at the company’s St. Louis factory, where the F-15 is produced.

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