British defence major, BAE Systems has officially started the manufacturing of the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), on Oct. 19.
The company said in a statement that the milestone marks the latest step in a long-term relationship with the State of Qatar.
The ceremony saw the production lines of Typhoon and Hawk T2 trainer jet for Qatar in Warton, UK being ceremoniously inaugurated by Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, H E Dr Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah.
In Dec. last year, BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar have entered into a contract, valued at approximately £5bn, for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force along with a bespoke support and training package. The contract was amended in June this year to include the supply of nine BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft along with an initial support package.
BAE Systems has announced, last month, that it received the first payments for the Typhoon and Hawk contract with Qatar making the deal effective. Deliveries of the first Typhoon and Hawk aircraft are expected to commence in 2022.
Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH formed in 1986.
The Typhoon entered operational service in 2003; it has entered service with the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Saudi Arabia. The air forces of Oman, Kuwait and Qatar are export customers, bringing the procurement total to 599 aircraft as of 2016.