12 Squadron Typhoon aircraft fly over Qatar
Both the Royal Navy and RAF are helping to provide security at the World Cup in Qatar (Picture: RAF).
RAF

Fifa World Cup 2022: How is the British military involved in the tournament?

12 Squadron Typhoon aircraft fly over Qatar
Both the Royal Navy and RAF are helping to provide security at the World Cup in Qatar (Picture: RAF).

The England and Wales men’s football teams have already headed out for the Fifa World Cup but it is not just the football stars heading to Qatar - the UK Armed Forces also have a role to play.

Harry Kane and Gareth Bale, and their national teams, are now readying themselves for the tournament, with both teams playing their first games on Monday.

But what are the UK Armed Forces doing in Qatar and which services are there?

In October, four UK Typhoon jets headed to the country to help provide air security for the tournament.

Based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, the jets are from 12 Squadron - a joint RAF and Qatari unit.

Watch: Typhoon jets set off for security role at Qatar World Cup.

While deployed in the country, they will police the skies over the eight World Cup stadiums.

Qatar received its first four Typhoon jets in August this year, part of a £5bn deal that saw the formation of 12 Squadron.

The deployment to provide security at the World Cup will be the joint squadron's first operational deployment, involving eight Typhoon jets and 200 personnel.

However, it is not just the RAF heading to Qatar.

RFA Cardigan Bay arrives in Doha
RFA Cardigan Bay, which will act as the command centre for the Royal Navy's World Cup deployment, pictured arriving in Qatari capital Doha (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Royal Navy will also be patrolling the waters around the country on their own security mission.

Three Navy minehunters, as well as an accompanying command ship, will remain in and around Qatar and the Central Gulf until Christmas to ensure the football tournament is not the target of any hostile acts.

HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Bandor will be conducting round-the-clock patrols of sea lanes leading to Qatar, using sonar and underwater devices to locate any bombs or mines.

HMS Middleton will remain on standby to provide additional support if needed, while RFA Cardigan Bay will act as a command ship throughout the tournament - with crews made up of specialist minehunting experts.