Qatar gets first Eurofighter Typhoon jet after UK ceremony

The first Typhoon aircraft has been delivered to the Qatari Armed Forces by BAE Systems following a ceremony in the UK.

The event was held at BAE Systems' facility in Warton, Lancaster, and attended by Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs as well as the Commander Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

The UK's Defence Secretary said the delivery of the jet "is another exciting milestone for our joint UK-Qatar collaboration" which will ensure both nations "stay at the forefront of defence capability".

"This joint project underlines how much Britain values its Middle East partnerships," Ben Wallace said.

It comes after a contract for both Typhoon and Hawk training aircraft, as well as a six-year support contract, was signed between the Government of Qatar and BAE Systems in December 2017. 

Qatar's first Typhoon delivered by BAE Systems in flight
As part of a contract signed in 2017, the UK will also provide support to the Qatari Armed Forces (Picture: BAE Systems).

Alongside the aircraft, a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Qatari governments was signed for support.

This included the formation of the joint UK-Qatar Typhoon and Hawk squadrons to provide RAF pilot and technician training.

Typhoon jets will also provide support for the FIFA World Cup – set to be held in Qatar from 20 November.  

Tony Gilchrist, Director Business Development, BAE Systems Air Sector, said the milestone shows support for Qatar "as they prepare to host the FIFA World Cup".

"We are working in partnership with the QEAF to ensure we transfer the skills and knowledge required to support, maintain and upgrade both their Typhoon and Hawk aircraft," he said.

The first Typhoon was delivered on schedule and will ferry from the UK to Qatar later this month. 

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