RAF News

RAF refuels Qatar Emiri Air Force for the first time

RAF Voyager aircraft taking off.

Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafales have for the first time conducted air-to-air refuelling sorties with a RAF Voyager Tanker during a weeklong exercise in Qatar.

The Voyager Tanker from 83 Expeditionary Air Group refuelled the Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafale Fighter Jets on Exercise GALWAY in Qatar.  This is the first time the RAF has conducted air-to-air refuelling with the Qatar Emiri Air Force.

Exercise GALWAY was an opportunity for the current Operation SHADER Voyager Detachment from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing to conduct Partner Nation Integration on discreet, agile activity.  It further demonstrates the ability of 83 Expeditionary Air Group to operate across the Broader Middle East. 

"It has been a privilege to work with our Qatari allies working up their Rafale capability for air-to-air refuelling.  We have had some fantastic moments this week, with the Rafale pilots integrating and debriefing with our crews understanding how well they’ve done in the air and developing their capability as air-to-air refuelling receivers has been a great opportunity."

Squadron Leader Prager
Detachment Commander

This air-to-air refuelling exercise was the latest bilateral training activity involving the RAF and the Qatar Emiri Air Force.  The Voyager deployment provided a valuable training opportunity for both Air Forces, enhancing their interoperability.

Fighter jets in flight during air-to-air refuelling.

Exercise GALWAY was the latest demonstration that Qatar and the UK share mutual interests in ensuring stability in the Middle East.  Joint operational training seeks to boost Qatar's ability to tackle the shared security challenges which helps protect the prosperity and security of the UK at home and abroad.

Pilot works inside the cockpit of a RAF Voyager.