The Royal Air Force (RAF) and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) conducted a flypast over Doha last Saturday to celebrate the air defence partnership between both nations.

Qatar Emiri Air Force Typhoon aircraft from 7 Squadron, Dukhan Air Base, take part in a flypast over Doha, Qatar.
The RAF Red Arrows land at Dukhan Air Base in Qatar prior to taking part in a display over Doha. Image: Crown Copyright 2022 Cpl Ed Wright RAF

The United Kingdom’s Red Arrows joined QEAF and RAF Typhoon jets for an exciting flypast for spectators and senior representatives from both air forces gathered in Doha’s harbour. The Red Arrows and Qatar’s aerobatic display team performed thrilling displays over the seafront. 

The RAF Typhoons were from 12 Squadron, the joint UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron, which is currently deployed to Qatar to support the formation of the QEAF’s first Typhoon squadron and to support air security operations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, said:

The skill and professionalism of the Qatari pilots and engineers at Dukhan Airbase is testament to their commitment, and to the remarkable partnership with the Royal Air Force to develop the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s new Typhoon Wing.

“The strong bond and camaraderie between our nations pilots and engineers in 12 Squadron reflects the close relationship between our air forces. I look forward to continuing to work with the Qatar in tackling our shared security challenges.”

The Royal Air Force (RAF) and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) conducted a flypast over Doha today to celebrate the air defence partnership between both nations. Image: MOD Crown Copyright 2022 AS1 Tomas Barnard RAF. 

Typhoons from 7 Squadron, the QEAF’s first Typhoon squadron, flew alongside the RAF in the flypast. To successfully form 7 Squadron, the two air forces are collaborating in Qatar to apply the knowledge gained while working together on the joint Typhoon squadron at RAF Coningsby.

During the FIFA World Cup, 12 Squadron and an RAF Voyager air-to-air refuelling aircraft will support counter-terrorism efforts with air security operations. This is part of a wider UK contribution to the tournament’s security overseen by the Qatar government, to help deliver a safe and successful event for football fans from the UK and across the world.

12 Squadron’s deployment to Qatar builds upon the strong bilateral defence relationship between Qatar and the UK, exemplified by 12 Squadron – the RAF’s first joint squadron with another nation since the Second World War. By supporting the QEAF in building its own Typhoon capability, the RAF enhances Qatar’s ability to tackle our shared security challenges.

The display in Qatar by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is part of a month-long visit to the Gulf and Egypt by the Red Arrows. The tour spans a combination of air shows, flypasts and ground engagement. It is a tangible demonstration of the UK’s enduring commitment to a safe, secure and prosperous Gulf region and aims to support a range of interests across defence, trade and education.