In what the UK MOD describe as Project Thariyat, 12 Squadron, the joint RAF/Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF) based at RAF Coningsby, have now deployed eight RAF Typhoon FGR4s and around 200 personnel to Dukhan-Tamim Air Base in Qatar for Air policing duties.
The RAF Typhoons left Coningsby in two waves of four aircraft, with the first four leaving the UK in late September, followed by the second four, (Callsign Ascot 9691) supported by a Brize Norton based Voyager, (Callsign RRR9289) leaving the UK on October 11.
Flying direct to Qatar, the aircraft joined the QEAFs own four Typhoons recently delivered from BAE Systems facility at Warton, Lancashire.
As a direct request for assistance from the Qatar Government, the deployments primary aim is to provide an air policing role over the tiny Arab state during the FIFA World Cup, held from November 21 to December 18. The missions will be flown out of Dukhan by a mix of RAF and QEAF crews, each flying their own nations Typhoons as the latter now has considerable experience of flying Typhoons tactically, gained over a three year period of training with 12 Squadron at RAF Coningsby.
Air Forces Monthly was told that after the World Cup final, the deployed RAF 12 Squadron aircraft and all personnel will remain in Qatar for up to six months to continue operational training with the QEAF Typhoons. While the future of 12 Squadron after this deployment has yet to be revealed, several of the 32 QEAF pilots have still to complete their training.. It remains undisclosed if this is to continue at Coningsby, or will now take place at Dukhan-Tamim Air Base.