Boeing has marked the rollout of the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF's) new F-15QA fighter at a ceremony attended by representatives from the US Air Force and QEAF at the company’s St Louis facility in late-August.
The first set of F-15QA jets will ferry to Qatar later in 2021 following the completion of pre-delivery pilot training. Boeing has also been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year.
In addition, Boeing will establish and operate an aircrew and maintenance training centre for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar through 2024 while also providing in-country spares and logistics support once aircraft are delivered.
“The rollout of the F-15QA is momentous, not just in terms of capability but also in terms of the enhanced partnership it represents," Lt Gen Greg Guillot, commander of the US Air Force’s Ninth Air Force, in an August 25 release.
"The relationship the United States shares with Qatar is critical to the stability and security of the central command area of responsibility, and we are grateful for our coalition partner’s continued focus on building interoperability and combined readiness,” Guillot added.
In 2016 the US State Department approved the potential Foreign Military Sale of the F-15 to Qatar, with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency at the time detailing the Doha’s potential of 72 F-15QA multi-role fighters, plus associated munitions, support, equipment and training. The cost of the deal at the time was estimated at US$21.1bn.