First of the football World Cup aircraft handed over to Qatar by Lancashire aircraft makers

Lancashire aircraft makers have delivered the first Typhoon aircraft built for the Qatar Armed Forces.

The first of the 24 aircraft on order was handed over at a roll-out ceremony hosted by Cliff Robson, BAE Systems Group Managing Director, Air.

The event was held at BAE Systems’ facility in Warton, under the patronage of His Excellency Dr. Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and in the presence of Commander Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), Major General Jassim Mohammed Ahmed Al Mannai.

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The first of the Warton made Typhoons has been handed over to Qatar. Here the aircraft is seen in its Qatari coulours

The company said that the first aircraft had been delivered on schedule and will ferry from the UK to Qatar later this month.

Typhoon will provide critical support for the FIFA World Cup which will be held in the State from 20 November.

Rt Hon Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence said: “Today's Typhoon delivery is another exciting milestone for our joint UK-Qatar collaboration, which will see the sharing of training and expertise between our respective air forces and will ensure both our nations stay at the forefront of defence capability. This joint project underlines how much Britain values its Middle East partnerships.”

Commenting on behalf of BAE Systems, Tony Gilchrist, Director Business Development, said: “Today marks the latest significant milestone in our partnership with the Qatar Armed Forces and demonstrates our commitment and support as they prepare to host the FIFA World Cup.

VIPs including Wyre and Preston North MP and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, front left, Fylde MP Mark Menzies, front right, and the delegation from Qatar at the handing over of the first of the 24 Typhoons being built for the Middle Eastern country

“We are working in partnership with the Qatar Emiri Air Force to ensure we transfer the skills and knowledge required to support, maintain and upgrade both their Typhoon and Hawk aircraft.”

The event marks a major milestone in the programme following a contract for the acquisition of Typhoons and Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft and a six-year availability support service signed between Qatar and BAE Systems in December 2017.

In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Qatar and the UK was signed for the provision of support including the stand up of joint UK-Qatar Typhoon and Hawk squadrons providing RAF pilot and technician training.