12 Squadron - the joint UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron - has deployed to Qatar to support the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) with forming its first Typhoon squadron and with air security operations for the FIFA World Cup.
The six-month deployment known as ‘Project Thariyat’ has seen 200 personnel and eight Typhoon aircraft deploy over the past month, with the final four jets arriving in Qatar yesterday.
This year’s deployment of 12 Squadron is an important milestone. Not only have we got preparations for the World Cup, but the Qataris have now taken delivery of their first four Typhoon aircraft, so all the training and knowledge transfer that we’ve done between our two air forces will be coming into fruition.
Air Commodore Yates
Senior Responsible Officer for the Qatar Air Programmes
The RAF and QEAF will use the operational knowledge gained during the past few years working together on the joint Typhoon Squadron at RAF Coningsby to successfully form Qatar’s first Typhoon squadron at Dukhan Airbase in Qatar.
By supporting the QEAF in building its own Typhoon capability, the RAF boosts Qatar's ability to tackle our shared security challenges, which helps protect the security of UK nationals at home and abroad.
From November, 12 Squadron will support the QEAF’s air security operations during the 2022 FIFA World Cup to help ensure a safe and successful event for football fans from the UK and across the world.
I’m very excited about this year’s deployment to Qatar. It’s the culmination of years of work to get to this stage where we’re really proving the concept of the joint squadron. We are showing the power of Typhoon in air security for a major global event, and we are showcasing the best of both the RAF and the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
Squadron Leader Wilkinson
12 Squadron Executive Officer and RAF Pilot
12 Squadron’s deployment to Qatar builds upon the strong bilateral defence relationship between Qatar and the UK, exemplified by the fact that 12 Squadron is the RAF’s first joint squadron with another nation since the Second World War.
The QEAF’s new Typhoon Wing will be home to the 24 Typhoon aircraft Qatar has purchased. So far, BAE Systems has delivered the first four aircraft from the UK. Alongside the associated RAF training package, this purchase supports jobs in the UK, particularly in the north of England.