- The QEAF will receive the first six of 36 F-15QAs it has ordered early next year
- The entire fleet is due to be operational by 2023
The first of 36 Boeing F-15QA multirole fighters ordered by Qatar will arrive in the emirate in early 2021, Brigadier General Eisa al-Mohannadi, the Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) officer heading the programme, told journalists during a press trip to Al-Udeid Air Base on 26 November.
"The aircraft deliveries to Qatar [will] begin in early 2021 and will be continued through late 2022, when all 36 aircraft will be in-country," Gen Eisa said. The first delivery will consist of six F-15QAs and the entire fleet will be fully operational by 2023, he added.
The F-15QA, the Qatari version of the F-15E Advanced Eagle, will be known as the Ababil in QAEF service and will be based at Al-Udeid.
Gen Eisa said the QAEF selected the type as it has the longest unrefuelled range and heaviest payload of the aircraft considered for the requirement, and that its climb rate, cruise speed, and dash speed are "world class". Combined with the available weapons, these capabilities enable the aircraft to defend Qatar from air, land, and maritime threats, he added, also noting that the type is fully interoperable with the US Air Force (USAF).
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at ihsmarkit.com/janes