The United Kingdom is to support the procurement of an Airbus A330-200 MultiRole Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft for Qatar, as part of wider cooperation measures between the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
Seen here in NATO service, the Airbus A330-200 MRTT is also being considered for Qatar, with the RAF saying it is currently developing a range of options for a potential procurement by the Gulf state. (NATO Support and Procurement Agency)
Speaking at the virtual SMi Military Airlift and Air-to-Air Refuelling 2020 conference, Group Captain Doz James, Deputy Air Mobility Force Commander, RAF, said that his service is currently in the early stages of developing such a capability for the QEAF that would add to the joint Eurofighter Typhoon unit the two nations are already operating.
“We are looking to develop a range of options to support a Qatari requirement to assist with a potential procurement of an MRTT,” Gp Capt James said on 1 December.
While the group captain provided no further details as to either the QEAF’s aerial refuelling requirements or the specific nature of the RAF’s assistance in helping it achieve its goals, Qatar was reported to have signed a QAR2.5 billion (USD679 million at the time) deal with Airbus for two MRTTs in 2014. No deliveries took place, and there were no further official communications regarding the procurement after that date. Further to this reported MRTT buy, the QEAF was also reported to be considering the Boeing KC-46A Pegasus, but again there has been very little official disclosure on this.