QAEF SEEKS AS MANY AS 24 JETS IN DEAL WITH THE UK
EUROFIGHTER SEEMS TO have secured another Middle Eastern customer for its Typhoon after Qatar
signed a statement of intent to buy 24 examples.
The peninsular Arab country is in the midst of a wide-ranging modernization and expansion of
its air arm, the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), which currently has a front-
line fighter force of just 12 Mirage 2000-5EDA/DDA jets that entered service in 1997.
The UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon signed the statement of intent with his Qatari counterpart Khalid bin
Mohammed al Attiyah in Doha on September 17.
The bid to sell Typhoons to Qatar is being led by BAE Systems. If the deal
is concluded it will represent the UK’s first major defense contract with the Gulf state. It would keep the Typhoon
production line at Warton, Lancashire,active beyond 2019.
At the time the statement was announced it was suggested that a deal could be finalized and signed in around a month.
Qatari interest in the Typhoon comes hot on the heels of deals to acquire fighters from France and the US: the Dassault Rafale and
Boeing F-15QA respectively.
This June a $12-billion agreement was concluded for the acquisition of 36 F-15QAs, a variant of the F-15E Strike
Eagle tailored to Qatari requirements.In April 2015 an agreement was announced for the QEAF to buy
24 Rafales worth an estimated €6.3 billion.
While it has long been expected that the QEAF plans to expand to a 72-strong fighter fleet, oficial
interest in the Typhoon had not been confirmed until now.