Qatar Amiri Air Force has received the first French-built Rafale multi-purpose jet fighter.
The delivery ceremony was held Wednesday at Dassault Aviation Company's premises at Bordeaux City, France, in the presence of HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs; Geneviève Darrieussecq, Secretary of State to the Minister of the Armed Forces in France; and Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO Eric Trappier.
Dr al-Attiyah gave a speech on the occasion, in which he highlighted the historical relationship between the two friendly countries. He also named the new Qatari Rafale squadron as "Al Adyiyat" based on a Surah in the Holy Qur'an.
Qatar signed an agreement with France in 2015 to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets for the Amiri Air Force and later 12 aircraft were added to the order.
The delivery ceremony was attended by Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar's Ambassador to France, Staff Major General (Piolt) Mubarak bin Mohamed al-Kaumit, Commander of the Amiri Air Force, and Staff Brigadier General (Engineer Air) Mohamed Mubarak al-Shahwani, alongside a number of senior Qatari Armed forces officers.
The twin-engine fighter has been in service with the French Air Force since 2004.
France has also sold Mirage F1, Alpha Jets and Mirage 2000 fighters to Qatar, AFP said in a report.
Among other countries who have placed orders for the multi-purpose fighter are Egypt and India.
In September 2016, India agreed to buy 36 of the fighters.