A Royal Air Force (RAF) Voyager air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker participated in a training exercise with Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

As part of Exercise Soaring Falcon, the RAF Brize Norton-based Voyager flew from a Qatari airbase and conducted AAR of QEAF Rafale fast jets in different conditions.

The mid-air refuelling is expected to further enhance interoperability between the two air forces’ personnel and equipment.

RAF 10 Squadron executive officer squadron leader Harvey said: “It has been a privilege to work alongside our Qatari allies during this exercise.

“Integrated activities such as these not only provide the opportunity to enhance our skills and help develop bilateral air-to-air refuelling expertise with our partner, moreover they demonstrate the capability and reach available when we work together.”

RAF Voyager conducted a similar refuelling of QEAF Rafale jets during a one-week-long exercise in Qatar last year.

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By GlobalData

Under an arrangement between the two countries, the UK offers AAR service for Qatari jets through occasional, short deployments to Qatar.

In a statement, RAF said that the UK shares a strong defence partnership with Qatar.

It has two joint squadrons with QEAF- 11 Squadron Qatar Emiri Air Force, the joint Qatar Emiri Air Force-RAF Hawk training squadron at RAF Leeming; and 12 Squadron, the joint RAF-Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoon squadron at RAF Coningsby.

The latter will be deployed in Qatar to step up security during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Last month, RAF announced plans to officially name its newly purchased Command Support Air Transport (CSAT) aircraft, Dassault 900LX, as Envoy IV.