The Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoon Squadron, known as No.12 Squadron, have marked an important milestone as they commenced flying as a Joint Squadron.

According to the Royal Air Force, No.12 Squadron is “a unique initiative between the UK and Qatar” and will “provide the QEAF with valuable experience operating the Typhoon” as they prepare to receive their first aircraft.

“With deliveries commencing in 2022, the aircraft are part of a £5.1 billion deal between BAE Systems and the Government of Qatar. The flags of both nations were raised at RAF Coningsby this week as Typhoons with new Squadron markings flew for the first time, signalling the Squadron’s readiness to train pilots and ground crew from both air forces.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“No.12 Squadron is a testament to our enduring friendship and commitment to Qatar, the only nation with which the UK has a Joint Squadron. Together we are protecting populations and securing our mutual interests across the Middle East.”

Dr Khalid bin Mohammad al Attiyah, Minister of State for Defence Affairs said:

“The first flight of No. 12 Squadron marks an important milestone in the commitment of the Qatari Emiri Air Force and the Royal Air Force to deliver on excellence. The raising of the flags of The State of Qatar and the United Kingdom side by side in commemoration of the first joint flight represents the alignment of vision and strategy in building for a stable and prosperous future for both nations and the world.”

The Joint Squadron was stood up on the 24th of July 2018 and will drive closer collaboration between the RAF and QEAF, say the RAF.

No. 12 Squadron is the first Joint Squadron in the RAF since the Battle of Britain in the Second World War.

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Geoffrey Roach

Desert Fox?…with compliments to Rommel


Not the first time that UK PLc has stood up a joint Squadron to enable the sale of fast jets in the Middle East. Considering the QAEF is also inducting the F-15QA and Rafale it was the only way that they would have been able to stand up a Typhoon squadron as well. To be honest Qatar is getting a better deal with the F-15QA, 36 jets that are cutting edge systems wise for $6.2 bn. The Typhoon deal is 24 jets for $6.1bn, that being said the Rafale deal is even worse value coming in at 24 jets for… Read more »


Hey do they want so many diferent Aircraft!


Politics, basically the Saudis hate the Qatari government and have in effect attempted to blockade the Kingdom. The Arab states led by Saudi Arabia sent a list of thirteen demands to Qatar (some which that were frankly hypocritical and others rather telling like shutting down Al Jazeera) that required the Kingdom to comply within ten days. Qatar didn’t comply and Saudi Arabia along with it allies attempted to squeeze then into compliance. It hasn’t worked, Qatar has been able to bypass the attempts at Blockading them. As Qatar is an important strategic ally for the US, UK and France they… Read more »


F15QA is based on the F15E Strike Eagle, isn’t it? So probably a more Ground Attack/Strike focus than the Typhoons and Rafales; that said, a mix of Rafales and Typhoons is unusual as they are close peer 4.5 Gen aircraft – and done probably for political reasons and to diversify supply as mentioned by Fedaykin below.

Interestingly, F15QAs are identical to F15SAs being acquired by Saudi Arabia….who are no fans of Qatar


The F-15QA on paper is based upon the F-15E but they are separated by more than 33 years of development.

Whilst the F-15E was intended to perform deep penetration strike as a replacement for the F-111 with air combat as a secondary consideration the F-15QA very much has Air Superiority and CAP as a core role for the type. The F-15QA bares more relation to South Korea’s F-15K and Singapore’s F-15SG which were sold as multi role platforms.


Hadn’t realised it was more multi-role that the E… thanks for the info


Well the E model always did have Air Combat as a secondary role and ironically the A and C model always had ground attack as a secondary role.

As the US retires the F-15C/D and standardises on a fleet of upgraded F-15E and new F-15EX the role of the type in the USAF will be changing to a more multi-role tasking where they type will act as a bomb or missile truck supporting the F-22 and F-35 capable of not only precision strike but also CAP and Air Superiority against peer rivals operating upgraded 4th Generation types like the Su-35.

Meirion X

I would say the number of new 4.5 gen F-15SX’s being procured would be small compared to the number of 4th gen aircraft to be retired in the next decade?


Strange that the French managed to secure a follow on order upping it to 36 jets, they must have offered a large discount on the additional jets.


Does anyone know where these airframes are from? Are they UK or Qatari owned? Are they F2s or FGR4s? Have they been taken away from other squadrons or taken from contingency stocks; they certainly aren’t new.


The RAF announced that they are British aircraft of the same version that Qatar have brought. The 1st 3 Qatari aircraft will join 12 squadron


isn’t the plan for 12 to eventually standardize on tranche 1? I thought this was one of the “new” Typhoon squadrons announced in SDSR 2015


the plan supposedly is to generate greater numbers of operational aircraft and have fewer in store/maintenance – that is how the 2 extra Typhoon squadrons have been resourced. The new more efficient maintenance/logistics contract signed with BAE Systems 5 years ago enables this. 12Sqn is the 2nd of those 2 announced in SDSR2015. Of course, we know the Typhoons are pooled centrally so whether this also means squadrons with fewer aircraft assigned….who knows