Typhoon Aircraft

During a trip to Doha Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, agreed on a package of training and co-operation between the British and Qatari Air Forces.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin expanded on the agreement speaking at a State of Qatar National Day reception in London.

She said that the new UK-based Typhoon joint squadron will be called No. 12 squadron and that it will temporarily integrate Qatari personnel, including pilots and ground-crew based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire:

"The formation of a joint squadron means our RAF will take the lead in providing training and support to the Qatari Emiri Air Force as it brings the Typhoon into service."

The Qataris will not be a permanent part of the squadron, but will be integrated ahead of the delivery of the Typhoon aircraft. The move will provide the country with valuable joint frontline experience on an RAF Typhoon Squadron and speed up their preparation for when their own jets are delivered.

The UK and Qatar already share a close defence relationship, only last month the UK and Qatar took part in a joint-exercise between the Royal Air Force and Qatar Air Force seeing Typhoon aircraft fly over the Arabian Peninsula.

Last year also saw the first delivered of Typhoons to Oman, whilst the MOD is leading the offer to replace Belgium’s F-16s with the jets and continues to discuss the prospect of a second batch of sales to Saudi Arabia, as it continues to bang the drum for Britain’s world-leading aerospace industry around the world.