France’s Dassault Aviation has started work on the $7bn contract awarded by Qatar Government to supply 24 Rafale multirole fighter aircraft.
The contract signed on 4 May will also cover the supply of MBDA missiles, along with training of 36 Qatari pilots and 100 technicians by the French Army.
Dassault Aviation CEO Eric Trappier said: "In a demanding geopolitical context, Qatar wants to benefit from the Rafale’s qualities in the same way as it was able to do previously with those of the Mirage F1, Alpha Jet and Mirage 2000.
"Dassault Aviation and the 500 French companies associated with the Rafale programme are honoured by this demonstration of trust."
This agreement represents the third Rafale deal this year for Dassault.
Earlier this year, reports emerged of a potential contract by Indian Air Force (IAF) with Dassault for the acquisition of 36 Rafales.
In February, the Egyptian Government selected the Rafale for its national air force in a deal valued at more than €5bn.
The Rafale programme is supported by Dassault Aviation’s partners Thales and Safran, along with 500 other companies.
Rafale is a delta-wing, multi-role jet fighter designed to conduct air-to-air combat, reconnaissance flights and nuclear bombing missions.
Powered by two SNECMA M88 engines, the aircraft is capable of carrying anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. It has respectively been in use with the French Navy and Air Force since 2004 and 2006.