The U.K. is to create a new Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon squadron that will temporarily integrate personnel from Qatar, the Ministry of Defence said.
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin revealed that the new U.K.-based Typhoon joint squadron will be called No. 12 squadron, and that Qatari pilots and ground-crew will be based at RAF Coningsby, according to an MoD press release.
“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,” Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said.
Last week, U.K. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah oversaw the signing of a £6 billion contract with Qatar for 24 Typhoon aircraft plus Brimstone and Meteor missiles and Paveway IV bombs.
As part of the deal, a package of training and cooperation between the RAF and the QEAF that will see them working together more closely was also agreed.
Qatari personnel will not be a permanent part the new squadron, but the partnership will give QEAF pilots frontline experience in an RAF Typhoon Squadron, aiding preparations ahead of the delivery of their own aircraft.
No. 12 squadron currently operates Tornado aircraft, but will transition to Typhoons, the release said.