The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Boeing USD500 million to begin air and ground training of Qatari personnel on the F-15QA combat aircraft.
The award, announced on 28 August, will see Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) pilots and maintainers trained on the F-15QA in St Louis, Missouri, through to 2021, after which training will relocate to Qatar and run through to August 2026.
Boeing expects to begin delivering the QEAF's 36 F-15QAs from early 2020 through to early 2023. Qatar has options for a further 36 aircraft, which would stretch production by a further three years out to 2026 if exercised.
The F-15QA is the Qatari-specific variant of the Advanced Eagle. As with the F-15SA for Saudi Arabia and F-15EX for the US Air Force, it improves on earlier models of the Eagle in that it features two additional underwing weapons stations (increasing the number from 9 to 11); the option of a large-area display cockpit (Saudi Arabia has not taken up this option); fly-by-wire controls; the Raytheon AN/APG-82(V)1 or AN/APG-63(V)3 active electronically scanned array radar; General Electric GE F-110-129 engines; digital joint helmet-mounted cueing systems in both cockpits; and a digital electronic warfare system; as well as other enhancements.
Work to build the infrastructure to accommodate the F-15QAs began in late 2017, with the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) noting it includes design and construction services, parking/loading ramps, hot cargo pads, taxiways, hangars, back shops, alert facilities, weapons storage areas, hardened shelters, squadron operations facilities, maintenance facilities, training facilities, information technology support and cyber facilities, force protection support facilities, squadron operations facilities, other F-15QA related support structures, construction/facilities/design services, cyber-security services, mission critical computer resources, support services, force protection services, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.
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