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Joint UK-Qatar Typhoon Squadron returns home to continue partnership

12 Squadron, the joint UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron, will continue operating as a bilateral squadron at RAF Coningsby for the next two years, as agreed today by both nations’ air forces.

Image shows RAF aviator hugging son on the airfield by a Typhoon aircraft.

The agreement was signed at the UK Ministry of Defence in London by the Commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force, Major General Jassim Al-Mannai and Deputy Commander Capability Air Marshal Sir Richard Knighton for the RAF.

Image shows a pilot in the open cockpit of a Typhoon aircraft on the airfield in Qatar.

This next phase of the joint UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron will see RAF and QEAF personnel continue to work together at RAF Coningsby. Together, pilots and groundcrews from both nations will build on the lessons and operational skills developed to date to further enhance interoperability between the two nations.

Image shows personnel walking by a Typhoon aircraft on the airfield.

I am delighted this extension agreement has been signed.  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.

Air Marshal Sir Richard Knighton
Deputy Commander Capability

Image shows RAF Typhoon aircraft flying in formation.

The announcement comes after 12 Squadron’s return home last week from a six-month deployment to the Middle East, the RAF’s longest ever Typhoon squadron deployment. This successfully concluded the first phase of the joint squadron: to build the Qatar Emiri Air Force's operational experience on Typhoon in time for the arrival of their own aircraft.

Image shows personnel carrying bags while walking across the airfield.

During the deployment in Qatar, 12 Squadron supported the formation of the first Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoon squadron, 7 Squadron and the integration of Qatar’s first Typhoon aircraft. By November 2022, 7 Squadron was established and the Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoons took to the skies alongside 12 Squadron to provide air security for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Image shows RAF aviator hugging son on the airfield by a Typhoon aircraft.

The decision to extend the joint squadron signifies 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 World War Two.

Image shows young girl running towards RAF aviators walking across the airfield, by a Typhoon aircraft.

Qatar and the UK share mutual interests in ensuring stability in the Middle East. Joint operational training on 12 Squadron boosts both nations’ ability to tackle shared security challenges, contributing to regional stability and protecting the prosperity and security of the UK.

Image shows 12 Squadron crest on the wing of a Typhoon.

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