On Sep. 17, 2017 Qatar and U.K. defense ministers have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) over Qatar’s purchase of 24 Eurofighter Typhoon.
British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, who is on a visit to the Gulf State, said this will be the first major defence contract with Qatar for Britain.
“After a number of years of negotiations between our two countries, I am delighted to have been able to sign today with Qatar’s Defence Minister, this Statement of Intent on the purchase of 24 Typhoon aircraft by Qatar. This will be the first major defence contract with Qatar, one of the UK’s strategic partners. This is an important moment in our defence relationship and the basis for even closer defence co-operation between our two countries. We also hope that this will help enhance security within the region across all Gulf allies and enhance Typhoon interoperability across the GCC. The security of the GCC, of all Gulf countries, is critical to the UK’s own security,” Fallon said in a press release appeared on Gov.uk.
Noteworthy the UK and Qatar share mutual Defence interests, including countering violent extremism, and ensuring peace and stability in the region.
The purchase of Typhoon aircraft will not only further strengthen this strong bilateral relationship, it will benefit Qatar’s military capability, and increase security co-operation and interoperability between the UK and Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Typhoon partners.
As remarked by our contributor Teddy Techer, Qatar’s LOI for Eurofighters comes three months after the Gulf state signed a deal with the U.S. for the procurement of 36 Boeing F-15QA (Qatar Advanced)-variant Eagles, which came two years after it ordered 24 Dassault Rafales from France. The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) has a requirement for 72 new combat aircraft to replace its aging fleet of 12 Dassault Mirage 2000-5 fighters. If the Typhoon and Eagle orders are fulfilled in full, the QEAF will field a fighter force of 84 platforms across three different types.
According to Jane’s, for some years, Qatar has been building up its combat aviation capabilities with the procurement of the latest platforms and technologies. The increase in the QEAF’s frontline fighter force from the current 12 aircraft to upwards of 84, in particular, will represent a massive enhancement in its capacity and capability.
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