F-15QAs Delivered To Qatar After UK Sojourn
DUBAI—The first batch of Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagles destined for Qatar have finally arrived in the country after delays to their delivery flight.
Three of the aircraft touched down at Al-Udeid airbase near Doha on Nov. 16 after their flight from RAF Mildenhall, England, where the aircraft had sat for two weeks waiting to fly to the Gulf. The three F-15s had been part of a flight of four that arrived in the UK at the end of October.
Doha has ordered 36 F-15QAs, a derivative of the F-15SA developed for Saudi Arabia that features a fly-by-wire flight control system that enables the use of outboard-wing weapons stations. They also feature in a wide-area display cockpit and a Raytheon APG-82(V)1 active electronically scanned array radar.
The F-15QAs will form part of Qatar’s new, three-pronged fleet that will replace the country’s Dassault Mirage 2000 fleet, and grow the country’s fighter inventory eight-fold.
As well as the F-15—locally named the Ababil—Qatar also is buying 36 Dassault Rafales from France and 24 Eurofighter Typhoons from the UK.
Initial pilot training for the F-15s is being provided by Boeing at Mid-America Airport near St. Louis. Boeing is to set up a training center for the aircraft in Qatar that will be operational in 2024.
The Qatari Air Force configuration for the F-15 is the most advanced produced by Boeing to date and serves as the airframe and avionics baseline for the U.S. Air Force’s F-15EX.
Qatar awarded Boeing a $6.2 billion contract in 2017 to deliver 36 F-15QAs starting in 2021.
A year earlier, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress that Qatar was approved to buy up to 72 F-15QAs, suggesting a second batch could be ordered later.