01 Dec 2017

Royal Air Force embarks on Qatari training exercise

Typhoon Fighter jets from the Royal Air Force will take to Qatari skies as part of a joint training exercise with the Emir of Qatar’s Air Force.

Operating from the Headquarters of Qatar’s Fighter Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, the exercise will allow Royal Air Force personnel to pass on their experiences flying and maintaining world-class Typhoon aircraft to their Qatari counterparts.

Four Typhoons will be flown by pilots from 29 (R) Squadron RAF, ordinarily based at RAF Coningsby where Typhoon pilots are schooled in flight and fight. 29(R) Squadron also supplements UK air defence and, as part of the Quick Reaction Alert team, they remain in constant readiness to intercept any and all unidentified or hostile targets.

The Government of Qatar recently signed a Statement of Intent to re-equip the country’s fighter force with 24 UK built Typhoons and many of the Qatari pilots taking part in the week long exercise will be among the first trained to fly them in Great Britain.

Around ninety engineering support staff from the RAF will be on-hand to support the exercise. The officer leading the RAF contingent, Wing Commander James Bolton, said his team were very excited to have the opportunity to fly alongside fighter pilots from the Air Force of Qatar.

“We are delighted to be here to exercise and fly alongside our colleagues from the QEAF,” confirmed Wing Commander Bolton. “We have been demonstrating the exceptional capabilities of the Typhoon to the Qatari Fighter Wing and both the aircrew and the ground engineers from both Air Forces and been learning from each other’s experiences.”

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