Qatar made its first payment to BAE Systems for its procurement from the United Kingdom of Eurofighter Typhoon multirole jets and Hawk trainer jets, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said in a release.
The deal, worth around £5 billion ($6.6 billion) includes 24 Eurofighter Typhoon multirole jets and now nine Hawk trainers, rather than six, and a bespoke support and training package, the Tuesday, September 18 release said.
Typhoon deliveries are expected to begin in 2022.
U.K. Export Finance provided a £5 billion package of support to the deal, including financing and insurance.
The U.K.-Qatar agreement signed in December 2017 for a total of £6 billion (currently $7.9 billion) also includes an agreement with MBDA for Brimstone and Meteor missiles and Raytheon’s U.K.-manufactured Paveway IV 500-pound precision-guided bomb.
It includes the formation of a new Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon squadron that will temporarily integrate personnel from Qatar. The joint No. 12 squadron will see Qatar Emiri Air Force pilots and ground-crew based at RAF Coningsby.
No. 12 squadron will have a role in security during the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar, and “will ensure ease of future real-time joint operations for both sides, as well as ensuring precision of joint procedures, in light of the two countries’ partnership in combating terrorism,” Qatar’s Ministry of Defense said in December.
Qatar’s MoD also said that the agreement included “an electronic warfare system through continuous joint cooperation between the two countries.”
Qatar is ninth country to select Eurofighter Typhoon
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson described the deal as a “massive boost to the British defense industry,” adding that it will help “further build the trust between the U.K. and Qatar to tackle the challenges we both share, support stability in the region and deliver security at home.”
The MoD release said that the U.K. and Qatar “share mutual interests in countering violent extremism, and ensuring stability in the region,” and the deal will help to prevent terrorism from spreading and protect the security of the U.K.
BAE Systems Chief Executive Charles Woodburn said the contract “represents a significant step in BAE Systems’ long-term relationship with the State of Qatar, as it becomes the ninth country to choose Typhoon.”
“The proven combination of Typhoon and Hawk will provide the Qatari Armed Forces with the most advanced and flexible multi-role combat aircraft on the market today, along with best in class support and training,” he added.
The MoD said that sales of defense equipment to foreign customers grew by 53 percent last year to £9 billion. The combat air sector “delivers a turnover of more than £6 billion a year and has made up over 80 percent of defense exports from the UK over the last ten years,” it said.
Like many of its Gulf neighbors, Qatar has signed a range of big-ticket defense deals over the past year.
In April, the U.S. State Department approved the $300 million sale to Qatar of 5,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System guided rockets for its Apache helicopters, and in June it was included in a procurement of Hydra rockets which the APKWS can be fitted to.
Other procurements include Rolling Airframe Missiles for naval use, NH90 military helicopters and Airbus H125 training helicopters, armed drones, armored vehicles and ships from Turkey, and Rafale aircraft and armored vehicles from France.
Qatar is also in talks to purchase S-400 missile defense system from Russia.