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​Qatar formalises deal for 24 Eurofighters

Qatar has entered a deal to obtain 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters just days after confirming an order for 12 additional Dassault Rafales.

BAE Systems, the Eurofighter campaign lead for Qatar, says that the deal is valued a £5 billion ($6.7 billion).

Deliveries are to start in late 2022, subject to BAE Systems receiving the first payment, which is due "no later than mid-2018."

“We are delighted to begin a new chapter in the development of a long-term relationship with the State of Qatar and the Qatar Armed Forces, and we look forward to working alongside our customer as they continue to develop their military capability," says Charles Woodburn, chief executive of BAE Systems.

News that a Eurofighter deal was imminent first emerged in September, when the UK defence secretary at the time, Michael Fallon, said a statement of intent had been signed for the 24 aircraft.

The Eurofighter announcement follows Dassault's announcement on 7 December that Qatar will buy 12 additional Rafale fighters, adding to its previous commitment of 24 of the French type. The first Rafale is due in 2018.

In June, Qatar also entered a deal with Boeing for 36 F-15QA aircraft, reportedly worth $12 billion. The F-15QA is an advanced variant of the two-seat F-15E Strike Eagle. Equipped with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, it is effective in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

The announcement of three major fighter deals in 2017, following the order for the 24 Rafales in 2015, highlights Doha's determination to update its air combat capabilities in light of growing regional tensions.

Doha's fighter acquisitions are especially dramatic given the limited size of its existing fixed-wing combat capability.

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Qatar operates just 12 Mirage 2000 fighters. These are supplemented by six Dassault Alpha Jets in the ground attack role. The average age of the Mirages is 19.6 years, the average age of the Alpha Jets is 37.3 years.

Fleets Analyzer shows that, in addition to the recent fighter orders, Qatar has orders for 24 AH-64E attack helicopters.

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