BAE Systems has handed over the first Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Armed Forces at the company’s facility in Warton, UK.

A rollout ceremony was held on 15 August to mark the milestone. It was organised under the sponsorship of Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah.

It was also attended by representatives from the company and other officials from Qatar, including Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) commander major general Jassim Mohammed Ahmed Al Mannai.

The Typhoon fighter jet will fly from the UK to Qatar later this month.

BAE Systems Air Sector Business Development director Tony Gilchrist said: “We are working in partnership with the QEAF to ensure we transfer skills and knowledge required to support, maintain and upgrade both their Typhoon and Hawk aircraft.”

The latest delivery marks a significant milestone under Qatar’s £5bn programme to acquire various Eurofighter jets and Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft, including a six-year availability support service.

This programme was awarded by the Government of Qatar to BAE Systems in December 2017 while it was effective from September 2018, after Qatar made the first payment to BAE Systems.

In 2018, the UK and Qatari governments signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form UK-Qatar Typhoon and Hawk squadrons for providing RAF pilot and technician training.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Today’s Typhoon delivery is another exciting milestone for our joint UK-Qatar collaboration, which will see sharing of training and expertise between our respective air forces and will ensure both our nations stay at forefront of defence capability.

“This joint project underlines how much Britain values its Middle East partnerships.”