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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Qatar receives first batch of F-15 fighter jets

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The combat planes were manufactured by the United States and Boeing in partnership with Qatar.

Qatar received its first batch of the latest generation of US-made F-15 combat planes on Wednesday.

A rollout ceremony to announce the news was held at Boeing’s headquarters in the US state of Missouri, where Qatar’s Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah was in attendance.

Al Attiyah said Qatar’s acquisition of the aircraft was for defence purposes and noted the new F-15QA has better combat specifications and is faster than the older fighter jets.

Aerospace experts say the new fighter jets are among the best in terms of speed and manoeuvrability during both offensive and defensive operations.

“The relationship the United States shares with Qatar is critical to the stability and security of the central command area of responsibility, and we are grateful for our coalition partners continued focus on building interoperability and combined readiness,” said Commander of 9th Air Force General Greg Guillot.

Qatar initially signed agreements to buy 30 combat aircrafts equipped with the latest technical means from the US and some European nations in 2017 after the Gulf blockade broke out.

Source: Ministry of Defense

Boeing is providing maintenance and logistics services for the Qatar F-15QA programme for the pre-delivery pilot training, which started earlier this year.

The aerospace company will also set up and operate an aircrew and maintenance training centre for Qatar’s Air Force at the Al Udeid airbase until 2024.

Meanwhile, arms imports to Qatar saw a 361% increase from 2016-to-2020 according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute [SIPRI].

The report revealed there was a likely link in the increase of arms transactions to heightened regional tensions between the Gulf states with the three-year illegally-imposed blockade on Qatar in 2017.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt signed the Al Ula Declaration with Qatar to end the dispute.


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