Qatar is planning to procure a major fleet of fighter jets for use by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

The proposed aircraft will replace the QEAF’s existing fleet of French-made Dassault Mirage 2000-5s.

The National quoted Brigadier Gen Mubarak bin Mohammed al Khayarin saying that while the number of jets to be acquired was still under discussion, Qatar is likely to order between 24 and 36 units.

QEAF is evaluating fighter jets produced by France, UK, Italy and US companies, including the Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighter, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale.

Qatar’s purchase plan follows a formal evaluation of fighter jet capabilities last year, and forms part of the Gulf nations’ build up of their homeland defences after Saudi Arabia and the UAE announced planned fighter jet acquisitions.