Boeing has begun production of F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) Eagle combat aircraft ordered by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
The start of the F-15QA aircraft production was marked with the inauguration of the production line by Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs of Qatar, during his visit to the Boeing facility in St. Louis, Missouri. F-15QA is a variant of McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle developed developed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
The Deputy Prime Minister was accompanied during the visit by Brig. Gen Issa Rashid al-Mohannadi, the F-15 Aircraft Officer; Brig. Gen. Yousef Mohamed al-Kuwari, the Military Attache of the State of Qatar to the United States, as well as senior officers of the Qatari Armed Forces who are in charge of the project.
The U.S. State Department approved the sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar in a $21.1 billion deal that includes weapons, support, equipment, and training, in November 2016. On 14 June 2017, it was announced that Qatar had signed a deal to purchase 36 F-15QAs for a cost of US$12 billion for which an Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed between al-Attiyah and U.S. Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
In December last year, Boeing , the manufacturer of the aircraft, was awarded a contract, worth around $6 billion, that provides for the foreign military sales (FMS) requirement to procure the new F-15QA fighter jets for the Qatar Emiri Air Force. The undefinitized contract action contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. FMS funds in the amount of around $3 billion was obligated at the time of award.
According to the Pentagon statement at the time, the contract work would be performed at Boeing’s facility in St. Louis, Missouri, with an expected completion date of Dec. 30, 2022.
The new development came amid an ongoing diplomatic row between Qatar and a number of its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Incidentally, Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) operates a similar version of the F-15E fighter jet, designated F-15SA (Saudi Advanced).
Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle
McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle is an American all-weather multirole strike fighter derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle.
The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic-warfare (EW) aircraft.
F-15’s proven design is undefeated in air-to-air combat, with more than 100 aerial combat victories. Its two engines provide 58,000 pounds of thrust, which enable the F-15 to exceed speeds of Mach 2.5.
U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker aircraft camouflage and conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intake ramps (although CFTs can also be mounted on earlier F-15 variants).The Strike Eagle has been deployed for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya, among others. During these operations the F-15E has carried out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and provided close air support for coalition troops.
Boeing has built more than 1,600 of the aircraft, which has also been exported to several countries.
F-15E – U.S. Air Force (USAF)
F-15I Ra’am (רעם – “Thunder”) – Israeli Air Force (IAF)
F-15K Slam Eagle – Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF)
F-15S – Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF)
F-15SG – Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)
F-15 Advanced Eagle variants:
F-15SA (Saudi Advanced) – Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF)
F-15QA (Qatar Advanced) – Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF)