Qatar receives first batch of US-made F-15 combat planes

Aug 26, 2021:Qatar has received the first shipment of a new generation of F-15 fighter jets developed by the United States firm Boeing in partnership with the Gulf state.

The ceremony took place at Boeing’s headquarters in the US state of Missouri on Wednesday, attended by Qatari Minister of State for Defense Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah.

The minister said Qatar is acquiring the aircraft for defence purposes, adding that the new aircraft have better combat specifications and are faster than the older F-15s.

“The rollout of the F-15QA is momentous, not just in terms of capability but also in terms of the enhanced partnership it represents,” US media reported General Greg Guillot, commander of 9th Air Force, as saying at the event.

“The relationship the United States shares with Qatar is critical to the stability and security of the central command area of responsibility, and we are grateful for our coalition partners continued focus on building interoperability and combined readiness,” he added.

Qatar signed warplane purchase agreements with the United States and some European countries in 2017 amid political tensions between it and its neighbors Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain.

Following the Gulf blockade of Qatar, it agreed with Washington and Boeing to purchase at least 30 state-of-the-art aircraft.

Experts say the new F-15QA fighter jets are the best in terms of speed and tactics during offensive and defensive missions.

Boeing is providing maintenance and logistical support for Qatar’s F-15QA program during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year.

According to local US media reports, Boeing will set up and operate an Air Crew and Maintenance Training Center for Qatar Emiri Air Force at Al Wade Air Base by 2024, while also providing spares and logistical support domestically.

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