Over the weekend, Qatar signed a letter of intent to purchase fighter jets from the United Kingdom.
British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon traveled to Qatar to meet with Qatar’s Defense Ministry, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah. On September 17, 2017, the U.K. government announced that Qatar signed a letter of intent for the purchase of 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.
The British Defence Secretary said, “After a number of years of negotiations between our two countries, I am delighted to have been able to sign today with Qatar’s Defence Minister, this Statement of Intent on the purchase of 24 Typhoon aircraft by Qatar.
“This will be the first major defence contract with Qatar, one of the U.K.’s strategic partners. This is an important moment in our defence relationship and the basis for even closer defence co-operation between our two countries. We also hope that this will help enhance security within the region across all Gulf allies and enhance Typhoon interoperability across the GCC,” he added, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Fellow GCC member Saudi Arabia already operates the Typhoon. Kuwait placed an order for 28 of the jets in 2016 and Oman has begun taking delivery of jets out of an order for 12.
A statement released by the U.K. government noted regarding the letter of intent, “The Typhoon is a multi-role combat aircraft that has long-term potential to be at the forefront of air power for many years, and today’s Statement of Intent demonstrates continued confidence in Typhoon and British manufacturing.”
Qatar will add the Eurofighter Typhoon to its list of new fighter jet acqusitions. The country has on order 24 Dassault Rafales, under a contract worth over $7 billion, and earlier this summer inked an agreement with the U.S. that could see as many as 36 F-15s delivered to the Gulf country, at a cost of $12 billion.