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Exclusive: UK and Qatar Extend Joint Typhoon Operations in Historic Agreement

Recognized as 12 Squadron, the collaborative UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron initiated operations in June 2020. The Royal Air Force of the UK and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) have ratified an agreement to prolong the joint Typhoon operations for the subsequent two years. The accord was endorsed by QEAF commander Major General Jassim Al-Mannai and RAF deputy commander Capability Air Marshal Sir Richard Knighton.

Approved at the UK Ministry of Defence, the agreement will ensure the joint squadron’s continuity, enabling pilots and ground crews from both nations to enhance interoperability and further refine operational skills. Identified as 12 Squadron, the combined UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron stationed at RAF Coningsby was established in July 2018, marking the first joint squadron in the RAF since World War II.

In 2020, the bilateral squadron commenced joint operations, facilitating joint training for pilots and air crews from both air forces in state-of-the-art facilities. Sir Richard Knighton remarked, “I am thrilled that this extension agreement has been signed. Qatar holds significant regional importance, and the Royal Air Force eagerly looks forward to advancing this close partnership for the benefit of both Air Forces and nations.

“This partnership plays a vital role in fostering peace and stability in the region.” In October 2022, 12 Squadron was deployed on ‘Project Thariyat’ to Qatar, effectively supporting QEAF’s air security operations during the successful six-month mission.

12 Squadron returned to the UK last week, marking the conclusion of the initial phase of the joint squadron. Throughout this phase, the squadron provided support for the formation of QEAF’s first Typhoon squadron and facilitated aircraft integration.

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