Qatar Air Force
|Qatar Air Force|
Qatar Air Force emblem
|Garrison/HQ||Doha International Airport|
|Engagements||Libyan Civil War
2015 military intervention in Yemen
|Brigadier General Mubarak Mohammed Al Kumait Al Khayarin|
|Helicopter||Aérospatiale Gazelle, Westland Sea King, AgustaWestland AW139|
|Interceptor||Dassault Mirage 2000|
Piper PA-34 Seneca
|Transport||Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Dassault Falcon 900|
The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) is the aerial branch of the Qatar Armed Forces. It was formed in 1974, three years after achieving independence from Great Britain in 1971. The airforce had 2,100 personnel in 2006. Al Udeid Air Base and Doha International Airport serve as the main site of operations for its squadrons.
Initially equipped with ex-RAF Hawker Hunters, the air force soon began expansion with six Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets in 1979. Fourteen F1 Mirages were delivered between 1980-84. In 1991 the Qatari Air Force contributed aircraft to conduct strikes against Iraqi forces during the Gulf War. After the conflict the government sought to fortify their air defense with the construction of a new base southwest of the Doha at Al Udaid. The facility has hardened aircraft shelters, air defence radars and Roland missile batteries. In the 1990s they acquired more Alpha Jets with a ground attack capability and a squadron of Mirage F1s, from France. In 2005 the Air Force participated in Exercise Eagle Resolve, along with Medical Services and Emergency Medical teams to build Interoperability with their US counterparts. The U.S. 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit took part in exercise to validate the nation’s crisis management plan prior to hosting the Asian Games in 2006.
Other acquisitions have been for an order of 18 AW139 helicopters. The helicopters are used for utility tasks, troop transport, search and rescue, border patrol, special forces operations, and law enforcement. Three additional aircraft were ordered in March 2011 for Medivac services. By 2010 the Qatar Emiri Air Force's personnel strength was at 2100 and among its fleet of equipment was the Mirage 2000-3EDA, the SA 342L Gazelle, as well as the C-17A Globemaster III. Aircraft either fly out of al-Udeid field or Doha International Airport and receive training from British instructors. In January 2011, the Air Force evaluated the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Boeing F-15E and the Dassault Rafale to replace its current fighter inventory of Dassault Mirage 2000-5s. In May 2015, the Air Force awarded Dassault Aviation the deal for 24 Rafale fighters worth €6.3 billion ($7 billion).
In Jun 2015 it was announced that 4 additional C-17 Transport Aircraft were ordered to supplement the existing 4 aircraft delivered in 2009 & 2012.
- No. 1 Fighter Wing
- No. 7 Air Superiority Squadron – Dassault Mirage 2000
- 9 single-seat Mirage 2000-5EDA
- 3 2000-5DDA trainers
- No. 11 Close Support Squadron – Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet
- No. 2 Rotary Wing
|Alpha Jet||France Germany||light attack||6|
|Dassault Rafale||France||multirole||24 on order|
|C-17||United States||heavy transport||4||one aircraft operated with the Qatar Amiri Flight|
|C-130J||United States||utility transport||C-130J-30||4|
|Sea King||United Kingdom||ASW / utility||Mk.3||11|
|SA342||France||transport / utility||14|
|AH-64||United States||attack||AH-64E||24 on order|
|Mirage 2000||France||conversion trainer||5DDA||4|
|PC-21||Switzerland||primary trainer||2||22 on order|
Pervious notable aircraft operated by the Air Force consisted of the Hawker Hunter, Dassault Mirage F1, Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Westland Whirlwind, Britten-Norman Islander, and the Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma helicopter.
- Anthony H. Cordesman & Khalid R. Al-Rodhan (2006). Gulf Military Forces in an Era of Asymmetric Wars. Praeger. p. 150. ISBN 978-0275992507.
- Qatar Armed Forces Sign Contract for 18 AW139 Helicopters – ASDNews. Asd-network.com. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
- "The Qatar Armed Forces Order Three EMS-Configured AW139s" Agusta Westland 21 March 2011
- "Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF)". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- United Arab Emirates, Library of Congress Country Study, 1993
- "World Air Forces 2015 pg. 27". Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
- "France and Qatar seal $7 billion Rafale fighter deal". reuters.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- "World Air Forces 1985 pg. 76". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
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