The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced a new squadron for Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft to integrate British and Qatari personnel.
Based in the UK, the new No 12 Typhoon joint squadron will provide training and support to the Qatari Emiri Air Force. Recently, the Middle East country agreed to purchase 24 Typhoon aircraft from BAE Systems in a deal worth around £5bn.
The squadron will temporarily integrate Qatari personnel, including pilots and ground-crew based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Coningsby, Lincolnshire, ahead of the delivery of the Typhoon aircraft.
It will provide Qatar with valuable joint frontline experience on an RAF Typhoon Squadron and speed up their preparation for when their own jets are delivered, MoD stated.
UK Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “Qatar proudly becomes the ninth nation to buy the world’s leading multi-role combat aircraft.
“The formation of a joint squadron means our RAF will take the lead in providing training and support to the Qatari Emiri Air Force as it brings the Typhoon into service.”
The new joint squadron will also strengthen the existing UK-Qatar defence relationship, by helping to prevent terrorism from spreading and protecting the prosperity and security of the UK at home.
The new 12 squadron is currently operating Tornado multi-role aircraft.
The UK and Qatar recently conducted a joint-exercise, which involved a Typhoon aircraft that flew over the Arabian Peninsula.