An updated defence agreement will also see the RAF deploy a Voyager aircraft to Qatar to periodically provide air-to-air refuelling training for the Qatari Emiri Air Force.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and his Qatari counterpart, HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, recently announced an expansion of the relationship between each nation’s air forces.

According to a news release from the Ministry of Defence:

“Providing valuable training opportunities for both nations, the updated defence agreement will also see the RAF Voyager deploy to Qatar to periodically provide air-to-air refuelling training for the Qatari Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) fleet of fast jet aircraft.

The RAF Voyager fleet already supports Defence activity around the world and the Qatar AAR service over the next two years will be part of this. The deployments will be planned to co-ordinate with the UK’s operational and training needs and will benefit the RAF by enhancing its interoperability with international personnel and equipment.”

Additionally, as part of the updated agreement, RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire will become the British base for the new UK-Qatar joint Hawk training squadron, utilising Qatar’s recently acquired fleet of nine Hawk T2 variant aircraft.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement:

“In the face of new and emerging threats, it is vital we collaborate with our international allies to tackle our shared security challenges and our long-standing relationship with Qatar exemplifies this. By working together we continue to share skills and expertise whilst promoting global security and driving prosperity at home. I’m delighted RAF Leeming has been chosen to base the historic second UK-Qatari joint squadron, which recognises the globally-held high regard of RAF flying training.”

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Wonder if the Qatari pilots have to produce a credit card before plugging in to be refulled…..


I think the only time the middle eastern countries provided the US, Brits, ect with free gas was during the first Gulf War.


When I was in Kuwait, in 1970, I used to fill up my car for the equivalent of 10p a gallon!


In Saudi. in the early 80s. I was paying 12.5p a gallon!


That’s inflation for you…!


It was Mumtaz….😊. Only the best for me!


I seem to remember my dad getting change from a pound for 4 gallons of petrol.


I currently pay around 60p for 10 litres…


That’s the Gulf for you…’d think that the bloody stuff grew on trees out there!

James M

It certainly does explain why their coppers drive around in marked lambos. You’d be daft not to when petrol is that cheap – and it’s not like anyone would be able to get away from you.

George Royce

I wonder why we didn’t order more Voyagers to do the role of the P8 Poseidon?

JJ Smallpiece

A330s are too big for this role. But we should be ordering more P8’s – to make 3 squadrons circa 36 aircraft. So another 27 still needed.


Because there isn’t a Maritime Patrol version of any Airbus… only realistic available alternative to the P8 was the Japanese Kawasaki P1.

George Royce

Ah I see. Thanks.

JJ Smallpiece

Poor people, having to go to Yorkshire


‘God’s Own County’ as Country Life had it 1994.
No argument from me there, though I’m talking about the High Dales and Moors.

captain p wash

Qatar Airlines often fly over Murmansk…… I can feel a Cunning plan coming on !

Andrew D

With the cuts coming I guess that’s not going affect Qatar joint Typhoon SQN ,plus will this Hawk SQN just be at Leeming to be in company with 100 SQN or is it for the chop ?


As the Hawk T1’s are being retired by 2025 I imagine either 100 squadron will reform as the new joint unit or a lot of the personnel will move across.

Good to see that Leeming will still have a role.

Andrew D

IN the early 90s remember when there were 3 SQNs of Tornados flying from Leeming plus Hawks.But aleast Leeming still got a future.


I think the Advanced FTS at Valley don’t have enough T2 for the current number of students. Certainly a year or two ago there was overflow of training into 100SQN at Leeming. I wonder if the joint T2 squadron will be able to provide that extra training capacity for RAF as well as Qatari pilots? Cuts to aircrew numbers may well negate the need.


It seems like the problems at Valley have been largely solved – probably through a combination of standing up 25 squadron and bringing in more instructors / simulator training as obviously there’s been no increase in Hawk T2’s.

I imagine the joint squadron will just use the new Qatari Hawks but perhaps it’ll also provide some capacity for British pilot training too.

Not an entirely new idea as 208 squadron were I think training Saudi pilots at Valley until not that long ago.

Captain P Wash

Thought I might as well explain my previous comment about Murmansk…. Qatar currently fly A330’s and a number of other Airbus’s. They regularly fly over Murmansk on their trips to far away places… as do our Rivet Joints and other stuff…. Was just thinking if we painted ours in Qatar Livery and squawked in Arabic, we could increase our Intel Fleet….. What do you chaps reckon !!!!!


Cunning plan Baldrick!


That didn’t work out to well for Korean Airlines …cue conspiracy theorists that the flight shot down by the Soviets was a US sponsored intel flight.

captain p wash

Oh Bugger !

John Hartley

Am I right in thinking Qatar still has the death penalty for homosexuality? If so, how can we send UK service people there, now that being gay is not a problem in the UK military?


I worked in KSA as my last RN job for nearly 4 years.
A good friend of ours was getting yards whilst working there and he was camper than a row of pink tents.

Don’t annoy the locals by getting caught and it’s not an issue. Anyway if you do something wrong in the military in most countries you find yourself PNG’d and on the next Go-homey Bird in short order…usually within hours.

captain p wash

Desert Pink Tents ?

James M

The Qataris aren’t going to throw away an alliance and a willing seller of kit over something like that. They’d just have the person in question sent home or turn a blind eye.

It’s the locals that I’d be more worried about, but I imagine that kind of thing is thoroughly covered in pre-deployment briefings.