Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has welcomed Qatar’s intent to proceed with the purchase of Typhoon aircraft.

The Typhoon had its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground-attack missions.

The type has also taken primary responsibility for air-defence duties for the majority of customer nations.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“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.”

According to a press release received today from the Ministry of Defence:

“Not only will the purchase of Typhoon aircraft 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 GCC Typhoon partners.

The Typhoon is a multi-role combat aircraft that has long-term potential to be at the forefront of air power for many years, and today’s Statement of Intent demonstrates continued confidence in Typhoon and British manufacturing.

In addition to supporting Royal Air Force operations protecting the UK in the skies above Britain and globally, the Typhoon has already been purchased by eight nations around the world.”


  1. Will this be on top of their Rafale order? Good news for the typhoon, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense from a practicality stand point.
    I guess Qatar feel they need to cement some of their friendships now that the Saudi’s have fallen out with them. Will be interesting to see if this could impact a follow up sale there.

      • They are buying friendships Matt, have you not heard that Qatar is rather under the kosh from its Gulf neighbours because of their partnerships with Tehran?

  2. Qatar is buying 72 F15QA, 24 Rafale and now 24 Typhoon.

    Seems a bit odd, but this probably has more to do with politics than combat efficiency. Most middle East arms deals are political.

    • Mike – The ‘up to 72’ F-15 sale was made part of the deal for Qatar to buy Boeing airliners. ‘Buy Boeing not Airbus or no F-15s’.
      So maybe this is a typical Gulf way of diplomatically sticking the middle digit to the USA…

      Whatever the reason the Tiffy is finding many friends in the Middle East thankfully.

  3. They’ve placed an order for 36 F15QA from their 72 allocation. They asked for the F-15s during Obama’s days and the US took their time about it. Room for 24 Typhoons now!

  4. If nothing else it gives them massive options.
    They can use the F15 for light defence and keep the Typhoons and Rafales for any real strong opposition.

    • Lets be honest their land mass is so small their planes would be whiped out before they left the ground in the event of a pre-emptive strike.

  5. Just need to sort a Typhoon deal with Canada and drinks all round. I have always thought that the UK could do a super ‘Module’ deal with Canada by supplying the main modules as supplied for UK Typhoons and then ship them to Canada for final assembly and discrete parts fitment there. In other words deliver a UK spec Typhoon but built in Canada. Maybe build a few lead aircraft here to train Canadian technicians and then build the rest there. Overall its the lowest cost option for Canada and they do prefer twin engined aircraft.

    Typhoon is now realising its potential, capable of delivering some serious firepower and proving itself in the real world.

    • Is there a realistic chance of Typhoons for Canada? It seems the super hornets will not be forthcoming given the BoeingBombardier situation, bit will this pit the F35 back on the table? If not, would the Rafale not be the more likely, rather than the Typhoon or the Gripen?

      • I think the F35 is the most likely now given how much the unit costs have come down. Gripen might have a chance if there is a big work share agreement with bombardier but i think that would end up more expensivse than f35.

      • Dan – I don’t know the chances for the Typhoon against others but if Trump doesn’t make Boeing back down this week when confronted by the PMs of the UK and Canada over Bombardier then politically in Canada Lockheed Martin are as ‘American’ as Boeing. They already turned against F-35 once and as I said they really prefer twin engined aircraft because of their land mass and arctic conditions and the higher weapon lift. That reason also makes the Gripen less attractive no matter how cheap it is.

        So that leaves Typhoon and Rafale. Both very capable aircraft but the French don’t like work share and their weapon systems are uniquely ‘French’ so Canada would also be locked into a single weapon supplier able to charge whatever price.

        Its why I believe that the UK (aided by the RAF on Squadron training) could make a very attractive offer to Canada for Typhoons to be made in Canada and use openly available, or their legacy, weapon systems

        • Appreciate the response. I hope you are correct, but let’s wait and see.
          How much longer can Canada realistically degree the decision? I read that they were apparently considering buying retiring F18s from Australia…presumably for parts…

          • Dan – their current CF-18s date from the 1980s and are in poor condition despite an upgrade post 2002. Canada was looking to replace them 5 years ago but internal politics sort of stymied that. However Trudeau did order 18 Super Hornets as a ‘stop gap’. Australia has F-18s and has recently added Growlers etc so they could have surplus parts.

            But its a sticking plaster to fix a broken limb given they have said they need 88 fighters.

        • Doesn’t the RAF still have 30 or so Tranche 1 Typhoons good enough for quick reaction alert in storage? Do a buy back deal with KSA for Tranche 2 ( amraam and pace iv) in exchange for some new ( Qatar standard ) Tranche 3’s with Captor E and lease to Canada. Could this work/ appeal for everyone?

  6. The step change that the new CAPTOR E radar will deliver along with Meteor, will generate a very dangerous aircraft to argue with. Don’t fancy the chances of Su35/7s even if the are super manoeuvrable. Only F22 and F35 can compete, and in some respect due to the Tiffy’s PIRATE IRST even these two could be in trouble if they are caught unawares.

    • I have a feeling the f22 and f35 are a lot more trackable than is let on especially from IRST. The short range of AMRAAM would def bring an f22 within the range of PIRATE IRST I’m shocked the US has not replaced it yet.

    • Agreed, I personally think thrust vectoring is nothing but a gimmick, particularly against a peer fighter, it makes an SU35 nothing more than a large static target and the last thing that will go through the Flanker drivers mind will be a Meteor doing Mach3!

  7. I’m convinced there’s something else to be announced about all of this. It simply doesn’t make any sense for Qatar to go from 12 outdated Mirage jets to 36 F15s, 24 Rafales, and 24 Typhoons in one big swoop. Operationally this is a very costly and confused state of affairs which begs for the rationale for this approach. What role is each of these jets going to have?

    Also, as this is a UK sale, does this mean it is for existing UK stock (e.g. Saudi deal) or are these new builds?

    • I think BAE delivered all 72 to Saudi Arabia already, and are in the process of building the remaining 10 for Oman and the remaining RAF airframes (must be something like 15-20). Presumably these will be new builds rather than taking RAF airframes, which would keep the UK production line going for another few years. That might be enough time to secure additional orders, hopefully. Buy lets not get ahead of ourselves until Qatar sign a contract with BAE…

  8. considering what’s going on in the middle east, and the chances are we will be forced to take sides at some point, maybe they are just getting as many jets as they can as fast as they can, before the doors close on them. Saudi has more oil and so the West will ultimately side with them if forced to.

  9. Duplication could be political ie friends plus backup and prevent any one nation embargo e.g Malaysia has USA, 40% Russia 40% and EU 20% force mix as a consequence of its non aligned status. Ie hard to embargo.

    Qatar tiny. Airforce designed probably like israel or singapore massive immediate local air superiority rather than projecting force.

    I am not an expert but thats what seems to happen in parts of SEAsia i have lived and read their newspapers /had friends in their militaries

  10. The Gulf States days are numbered as they currently set up. They are collectively staring down the barrel of a green renewables revolution that will all but decimate their economic fortunes.

    Crude oil will be a side show 40 years from now, the price will crash along with falling demand, as oil will be required for mainly industry and aviation ( Diesel /Kerosene) use.

    So we need to sell, sell ,sell while they still have US dollars to buy with!

    When the moneys gone, leave them to their tribal squabbles.

    • I think that what with the banning of all petrol/diesel in a few decades time in Britain, oil for making fuel for cars may become a thing of the past. However, I don’t see plastics going anywhere, so I don’t see the end of the Middle Eastern oil profits particularly soon.

  11. The problem for the middle East (especially the Gulf states) is they are a one trick pony, sure plastics will carry on, but let’s say the 1st world will have decreased its oil requirements by 70% by 2050, with the third world following suit with perhaps slightly higher demands.

    It’s only going to be countries that can cheaply extract oil and gas that will keep going, as the price of a barrel of crude settles into a steady decline 20 years from now .

    Forget oil rigs and North Sea or Gulf of Mexico oil extraction, it will probably only be Saudi Arabia left in the oil business by the end of this Century.

    The Gulf states will have to start diversifying their economies within the next 10 years, good luck with that!

    They used to say the oil will run out one day, but it looks like demand for it will run out first now.


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