The UK Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) have signed an agreement to extend the joint Typhoon operations for the next two years.

The agreement was signed by QEAF commander major general Jassim Al-Mannai and RAF deputy commander capability air marshal Sir Richard Knighton.

Signed at the UK Ministry of Defence, the agreement will see the joint squadron continue to provide an opportunity for the nations’ pilots and ground crews to improve interoperability and further develop operational skills.

Known as 12 Squadron, the joint UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron based at RAF Coningsby was stood up in July 2018. It is the first joint squadron in the RAF since World War II.

In 2020, the bilateral squadron started joint operations and has since allowed pilots and air crews from both air forces to train together in advanced facilities.

Sir Richard Knighton said: “I am delighted this extension agreement has been signed. Qatar is an important regional partner and we in the Royal Air Force look forward to continuing to develop this close partnership, to the benefit of both Air Forces and nations.

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“This partnership makes an important contribution to promoting peace and stability in the region.”

In October 2022, 12 Squadron deployed on ‘Project Thariyat’ to Qatar. The six-month deployment to support the QEAF’s air security operations was successfully completed.

12 Squadron returned to the UK last week, which marked the completion of the first phase of the joint squadron.

During this phase, the squadron supported QEAF’s first Typhoon squadron formation and aircraft integration.