F-15QAs Delivered To Qatar After UK Sojourn

Credit: Boeing

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. 

Tony Osborne

Based in London, Tony covers European defense programs. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2012, Tony was at Shephard Media Group where he was deputy editor for Rotorhub and Defence Helicopter magazines.