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Qatar, UK to decide on future of Joint Typhoon Squadron

The conclusion of 12 Squadron's deployment to Dukhan Airbase will see the Qatari and UK governments make a decision on the future of the joint Typhoon unit. (Crown Copyright)

The Qatari and UK governments are to decide if 12 Squadron is to be extended as a joint Eurofighter Typhoon unit after 2023, or if it will revert to being a Royal Air Force (RAF)-only unit.

Having told Janes in 2020 that the unit would become an RAF-only unit following the conclusion of its deployment to protect the FIFA World Cup in Doha, a senior source said on 8 February 2023 that “the possibility of its continued operation as a joint squadron beyond 2023 is under discussion”.

The disclosure came five days after the squadron's eight Typhoons and 160 mixed-national personnel concluded their six-month deployment to Dukhan Airbase on 3 February, returning to its UK base at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

“The conclusion of Project Thariyat brings to a close this phase of the Joint Squadron,” Wing Commander Chris Wright, officer commanding 12 Squadron said. “We are coming to the end of an important chapter of joint co-operation between the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) and the Royal Air Force,” Colonel Faisal Al-Ghanim, officer commanding QEAF Typhoon Wing, added.

The original tasking of 12 Squadron was to support the stand-up of the QEAF's Typhoon-equipped 7 Squadron, 1 Wing, at the newly constructed Dukhan Airbase, as well as providing security for the FIFA World Cup. With its initial joint tasks now completed, Janes understands that the governmental agreements on the unit's future are being finalised ahead of an announcement.

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