Following receipt of the first payment by BAE Systems on 18 September, the Qatar contract for 14 TYPHOONs and nine HAWKs, plus a comprehensive support and training package, is now officially active, at an approximate value of £5 billion (€5.5 billion).
The £5 billion package of financing and insurance put together by UK Export Finance was vital to securing the deal. The International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, confirmed the government’s view that the contract is hugely significant to BAE Systems’ 35,000 employees and the 9,000 companies in its supply chain.
“This contract, effective today, 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,” observed BAE Systems Chief Executive, Charles Woodburn.
The training aspect of the deal will see the British and Qatari air forces working in close cooperation in the future. A new UK-based TYPHOON joint squadron, reformed as No.12 Squadron, will comprise both Qatari Emiri Air Force and RAF personnel, including pilots and ground-crew, based at RAF Coningsby, ahead of the delivery of the aircraft. It represents a unique initiative, with the RAF not having formed a squadron with another nation since the Second World War.