The Qatar Ministry of Defence has reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with France’s Dassault Aviation to acquire Rafale multirole fighter aircraft, at an estimated cost of €6.7bn.

The move marks the conclusion of the much awaited contract that will see the company provide 24 Rafale aircraft, associated training and support services to the Middle Eastern nation.

Additionally, the contract covers provision for the supply of an undisclosed number of MBDA missiles.

"The contract covers provision for the supply of an undisclosed number of MBDA missiles."

The contract is part of efforts to modernise defence capabilities of the country’s air force.

Earlier this year, France and India signed an intergovernmental agreement for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets.

The jets were ordered as part of the long-awaited medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract, which is expected to be worth more than $20bn.

Last year, 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. It is powered by two SNECMA M88 engines.

The aircraft is capable of carrying anti-ship, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. It has been in use with the French Navy and Air Force since 2004 and 2006, respectively.