Qatar takes delivery of first Rafale jets

Five Rafales for the Qatari Amiri Air Force arrived home at Dukhan Air Base on June 5. Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was on hand to welcome the pilots and the jets home.

Qatar takes delivery of first Rafale jets Formation of five Rafales making a flypast in 2006 (Picture source: Rama)

France formally handed the first of the aircraft over to Qatar in a ceremony in Merignac, southwestern France, where the planes are built, in February. They have remained in France until now as Qatari pilots have been trained on the platform.

The deal for the Rafale fighter jets was concluded in May 2015 with French company Dassault Aviation SA. Qatar ordered 24 of the fighters from France in 2015, adding 12 more last year. It also has an option to buy 36 more.