RAF refuels Qatari Rafales for the first time

The Qatari Emiri Air Force's (QEAF) Dassault Rafales have conducted air-to-air refuelling (AAR) missions with a RAF Voyager KC2 Tanker for the first time during week-long Exercise Galway in Qatar.

This is the first time the RAF has conducted AAR operations with any QEAF assets. The RAF Voyager which carried out the AAR operations is from the 903 Expeditionary Air Wing currently detached as part of the 83 Expeditionary Air Group at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, supporting Operation Shader. 

A QEAF Dassault Rafale EQ flies off the wing of a RAF Voyager KC2 prior to the refuelling. RAF

Exercise Galway was an opportunity for the Voyager detachment to conduct partner nation integration on discreet, agile activity. It also demonstrates the capability of the 83 Expeditionary Air Group to be able to perform operations across the Broader Middle East.

Voyager Detachment Commander, Sqn Leader Prager said: "It has been a privilege to work with our Qatari allies working up their Rafale capability for air-to-air refuelling.  We have had some fantastic moments this week, with the Rafale pilots integrating and debriefing with our crews understanding how well they’ve done in the air and developing their capability as air-to-air refuelling receivers has been a great opportunity." 

A RAF Voyager KC2 from the 903 Expeditionary Air Wing returning from AAR operations. RAF 

As the partnership between Qatar and the UK grows, this AAR exercise is the latest bilateral training activity involving the two nations. Exercise Galway was the latest demonstration that both Qatar and the UK share mutual interests to ensure stability in the Middle East.