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Qatar Emiri Air Force receives first Typhoons, readies aircraft for QRA duty

Qatari Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft at BAE Systems Warton site. (Tim Ripley)

Four Qatari Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft are to depart from BAE Systems Warton site “within days” to take up quick reaction alert (QRA) duty ahead of the FIFA World Cup in November and December.

The Qatar Emiri Air Force's (QEAF's) first Typhoons were officially accepted into service by Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, Qatar's deputy prime minister and minister of state for defence affairs, in a ceremony at Warton on 15 August.

Speaking at the Warton event, Cliff Robson, BAE Systems Group managing director – Air, said that the aircraft would be operational from “day one” of their arrival at Dukhan Airbase in Qatar, where the company has established support facilities.

Robson described BAE Systems contract with Qatar as a “turnkey solution” and said it would be providing training and support “for years to come.”

Tony Gilchrist, director business development, BAE Systems, said the QEAF had trained sufficient combat-ready aircrew during training with the joint Qatari-UK Royal Air Force (RAF) 12 Squadron in the UK to enable them to stand up and operate their own Typhoon QRA detachment soon after the aircraft's arrival in country.

An RAF source told Janes on 15 August that 12 Squadron would also be deploying to Dukhan for a six-month period in September to back up the first Qatari Typhoon unit, but the QEAF pilots would fly any live QRA patrols. “We will just be in a supporting role,”the RAF source added.

After the first batch of four QEAF aircraft leave the UK this month, they will be followed quickly by other aircraft. The last of the 24 aircraft on order would be delivered by mid-2024, said Gilchrist.

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