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British-Qatari Typhoon Squadron to Extend Partnership

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) have signed an agreement to extend their bilateral Typhoon cooperation for two more years.

The partnership comprises 12 Squadron, a British-Qatari Eurofighter Typhoon unit formed in 2018 to serve as the first joint squadron between the nations since World War II.

The team began operations and training in 2020. The squadron is based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

‘Promoting Peace and Stability’

According to the RAF, the latest agreement will build on lessons and activities conducted by 12 Squadron to “further enhance interoperability” between the team’s pilots and aircrew.

“I am delighted this extension agreement has been signed,” RAF Deputy Commander Capability Air Marshal Richard Knighton stated.

“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.”

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

The Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Typhoon Squadron, known as No.12 Squadron, have marked an important milestone as they commenced flying as a Joint Squadron today.Based at RAF Coningsby, and later in Qatar, No.12 Squadron is a unique initiative between the UK and Qatar and will provide the QEAF with valuable experience operating the Typhoon as they prepare for their first delivery of the aircraft. Due to be delivered in 2022, the aircraft are part of a £5.1 billion deal between BAE Systems and the Government of Qatar. The flags of both nations were raised at RAF Coningsby today as Typhoons with new Squadron markings flew for the first time, signalling the Squadron’s readiness to train pilots and ground crew from both air forces. The UK has a long history of working with international partners into our Armed Forces, with such defence engagement recognised as key to strengthening partnerships and promoting our national interest. However, No. 12 Squadron is the first Joint Squadron in the RAF since the Second World War and Battle of Britain. The Joint Squadron was stood up on 24 July 2018 and will drive closer collaboration between the RAF and QEAF, putting our bilateral security and defence relationship on a long-term and sustainable footing.
12 Squadron badge. Photo: UK Royal Air Force

The announcement follows 12 Squadron’s arrival from Project Thariyat, a six-month deployment to the Middle East that honed QEAF’s operational experience with Typhoon aircraft in preparation for their own fleet.

In 2022, 12 Squadron supported 7 Squadron, QEAF’s first Typhoon air wing, and the integration of its first Typhoon.

The same year, both squadrons flew together to provide air security for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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