Typhoon jets will be seen and heard over Qatar this week as part of a joint exercise being held with the Emir of Qatar’s Air Force.
We understand that the exercise, operating from the Headquarters of Qatar’s Fighter Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, will enable ‘Royal Air Force air and ground crews to pass on their experience of flying and maintaining the world class Typhoon aircraft to their Qatari counterparts’.
According to a press release, four Typhoons will be flown by pilots from 29 (R) Squadron RAF, normally based at RAF Coningsby where they train RAF pilots how to fly and fight Typhoon.
29(R) Squadron also plays a regular part in the UK’s air defence in the role of the Quick Reaction Alert team which is at constant readiness to intercept unidentified or hostile intruders.
The Government of Qatar has signed a Statement of Intent to re-equip the country’s fighter force with 24 UK built Typhoons and many of the QEAF pilots involved in the week long exercise will be amongst the first to be trained to fly them in Great Britain according to BAE.
During this week the Qatari pilots will test their combat skills in their Mirage Jets against the British pilots flying Typhoon, and get to learn about the impressive capabilities and weapons systems of the aircraft which have been proven to be highly successful on RAF operations in recent times say the MoD
Around ninety engineering support staff from the RAF will support the exercise and an RAF spokesman said they were proud to share their positive experiences with QEAF personnel likely to be involved in flying or maintaining Typhoon in years to come.
The Officer leading the RAF contingent on the exercise, Wing Commander James Bolton said his team have been very excited about the chance to fly alongside fighter pilots from the Air Force of Qatar;
“We are delighted to be here to exercise and fly alongside our colleagues from the QEAF. We have been demonstrating the exceptional capabilities of the Typhoon to the Qatari Fighter Wing and both the aircrew and the ground engineers from both Air Forces and been learning from each other’s experiences.” said Wing Commander Bolton.