The Qatar Emiri Air Force is undergoing one of the most impressive expansion efforts of recent times to cement its position as a leading air arm in the Middle East. Combat Aircraft Journal updates the story of this unprecedented modernization effort.
Small in terms of territory, but extremely rich in oil and gas, Qatar is in the midst of an unprecedented expansion effort for its armed forces. The Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), having long been a compact yet meaningful force, built around a combat component of a dozen Dassault Mirage 2000-5s, is destined to become one of the most potent air arms in the region when it comes to new ‘kit’. Its legacy fleet of Mirages and six Dassault Alpha Jet Es, some 10 Westland Commando assault helicopters and a dozen SA342L Gazelles for battlefield support are being dwarfed by the sheer scale of its new effort, which could include as many as 132 new fighter aircraft.