BAE Systems officially delivered its first Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Armed Forces (QAF) during a roll-out ceremony at the company’s facility in Warton, UK.
The Typhoon aircraft was delivered on schedule and will be transported from the UK to Doha later this month.
BAE Systems and the UK see the delivery as a “significant milestone” under Qatar’s 5-billion-euro ($5.08 billion) program to acquire Eurofighter jets and Hawk advanced jet trainers.
“We are working in partnership with the QEAF to ensure we transfer the skills and knowledge required to support, maintain, and upgrade both their Typhoon and Hawk aircraft,” BAE Systems director Tony Gilchrist said.
The handover event was attended by officials from BAE Systems and the QAF, including Qatar Emiri Air Force commander major general Jassim Mohammed Ahmed Al Mannai.
The event was organized under the sponsorship of Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah.
‘Backbone’ of c̫o̫m̫b̫a̫t̫ Air Defense
Developed jointly by the UK, Germany, Spain, and Italy, the Eurofighter Typhoon is a delta-wing, beyond-visual-range aircraft with surface a̫t̫t̫a̫c̫k̫ capability.
It reportedly serves as the “backbone” of c̫o̫m̫b̫a̫t̫ air defense for the UK and its key European and international allies.
With a wingspan of 10.95 meters (35.9 feet), the aircraft can travel twice the speed of sound at an altitude of up to 55,000 feet (16.7 kilometers).
UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said that the delivery is another “exciting milestone” for the UK-Qatar defense cooperation.
With the delivery of the first Eurofighter aircraft to Qatar, both countries will share training and expertise to ensure that they both stay at the forefront of defense capability.
“This joint project underlines how much Britain values its Middle East partnerships,” Wallace said.