The first aircraft being sold to Qatar are expected to arrive in 2022 (Picture: MoD)
The Ministry of Defence says an agreement by Qatar’s to buy 24 Typhoon jets and nine Hawks is now officially effective after BAE Systems received its first payment.
The £5bn deal, which was agreed last year, includes the aircraft and a bespoke support and training package.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson welcomed the news and said: "This monumental, multi-billion-pound deal is now officially in place
"It’s a massive boost to the British defence industry, helping to support thousands of jobs, and it will help us further build the trust between the UK and Qatar to tackle the challenges we both share, support stability in the region and deliver security at home."
The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his Qatari counterpart, Dr Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah, oversaw the signing of the deal in Doha in December 2017.
Deliveries of the first Typhoon aircraft are expected to commence in 2022.
The agreement will also involve a package of training and co-operation between the British and Qatari Air Forces which will see them working closely together in the future.
A new UK-based Typhoon joint squadron, reformed as No.12 Squadron, will comprise both Qatari Emiri Air Force and RAF personnel, including pilots and ground-crew based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire ahead of the delivery of the aircraft.
It will be the first time the RAF have formed a squadron with another nation since the Second World War and the Battle of Britain.