Flypast concludes RAF exercise season with Qatar

Three RAF Typhoons have flown over Doha with the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

The flypast marked Qatar National Day and the end of a successful training season.

Two joint exercises have taken place in the country since late November.

12 Squadron, the joint RAF-Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Typhoon Squadron, has been participating in Exercise Fox Defender alongside QEAF Rafale and Mirage Squadrons.

More than 120 personnel deployed to Qatar to train for air-to-air and ground-to-air scenarios.

12 Squadron is the UK's first joint squadron since the Second World War.

On Exercise Soaring Falcon, personnel developed an air-to-air refuelling capability using an RAF Voyager and multiple Qatari fast jets for the first time under a training agreement.

A Typhoon from 12 Squadron overlooking the Doha skyline in November (Picture: MOD).
A Typhoon from 12 Squadron overlooking the Doha skyline in November (Picture: MOD).

The exercises enhance Qatar's operational capability ahead of receiving its own Typhoon aircraft in 2022, sharing common security goals in the Middle East.

RAF Coningsby is home to the UK-Qatari joint Typhoon squadron and RAF Leeming, Yorkshire, recently unveiled a new joint Hawk Training Squadron.

Asked whether troop training abroad would see a shift, from facilities like Canada's BATUS, to the Middle East, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has previously said: "We are being present where it matters, and the Middle East matters."

Speaking from RAF Leeming in November, he added: "We're also going to be forward and present in places like Kenya because Africa matters to our security and matters to our interests as well."