UK to strengthen cooperation with Qatari Air Force

On 17 September, British defence secretary Michael Fallon and his Qatar counterpart Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah signed a statement of intent for Doha to buy 24 Typhoon fighters to strengthen joint defence and military cooperation. If successful, it would be the first major military contract with Qatar, whom Britain regards as a strategic partner in the Middle East.

The Eurofighter consortium’s jets would thus complement the previous purchase of US Boeing F-15QA and French Dassault Rafale and total 72 aircraft would replace the 12 Mirage 2000 jets of the Qatar Air Force. Moreover, on Tuesday 19 September Britain and Saudi Arabia signed a framework deal on military and security cooperation. Therefore, in the context of Brexit, London continues to strengthen security cooperation with regional actors, among other things in order to maintain its international position. For Britain, a successful contract could also mean a re-launch of defence exports, which reached the lowest level since 2011 last year. The strengthening of relations with Qatar is also coming during the ongoing crisis on the Arabian Peninsula, which further underlines London’s role in the region.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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