QNA/Warton, United Kingdom
The production lines of Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets and Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft T2 for Qatar were inaugurated in Warton, UK, by HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah on Friday.
The project, named "Al-Dhariyat", aims to develop the capabilities of the Qatari Amiri Air Force and within its plans to modernise its fleet of modern fighters to protect the country's capabilities, official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
HE Dr al-Attiyah, who is currently visiting the UK, was briefed on the preparations and equipment to be adopted by a technical college to be established in Qatar, which will have a prominent role in serving the Qatari Armed Forces in particular and all sectors and state institutions in general.
The inauguration of Typhoon and Hawk T2 production lines follows His Highness the Amir and Commander-in-Chief of the Qatari Armed Forces' Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani inaugurating the operations of the Qatari Amiri Air Force and the British Royal Air Force joint squadron last July.
The project is unique in its ability to enhance the capabilities of the Amiri Air Force and the joint action and defence, and the joint squadron will have a prominent and effective role in protecting the Qatari airspace during the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
The inauguration ceremony on Friday was attended by the Qatari Military Attache in the UK Brigadier General (Air Force) Hamad bin Jassim al-Marri, director of Al-Dhariyat Project Typhoon aircraft Brigadier General (Pilot) Jassem Mohamed al-Mannai, British ambassador to Qatar Ajay Sharma and a number of senior officers in Qatar Armed forces.
HE Dr al-Attiyah and the British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson signed a contract to supply 24 Typhoon and nine Hawk aircraft on December,10, 2017, QNA added.
Speaking to Gulf Times in April this year, ambassador Sharma had said Qatar’s defence relations with the UK will get a further boost with the acquisition of Typhoon jets, in time for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
“There will be Typhoon ready for the World Cup. We certainly see these jets as part of the way of securing the event.”
Sharma was highlighting the two countries’ strong and deep rooted relations especially in the field of defence and security, stressing that British and Qataris have a shared interest in stability in the region.
The UK, he said, recognises the importance of Qatar’s stability not only to the region but also to the world and UK’s national interest.
“Qatar has been our friend for a very long time and that is the main reason why we have such a strong defence relationship,” Sharma said.
According to the envoy, the two countries’ defence relationship is taking a major step forward through the acquisition by Qatar of Typhoon jets.
“Qatar’s defence capabilities will increase and our ability to do more together will increase and that will be for the benefit of both countries,” he added.
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