The exercise of the option for the purchase of 12 additional Dassault Rafale fighter jets by Qatar for its air force came into effect on March 27, 2018.
This option was exercised on 7 December 2017 at Doha in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, and his Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
It followed the contract signed on 4 May 2015 between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 24 Rafale aircraft.
Once these two batches have been delivered, the Qatar Emiri Air Force will operate 36 Rafale fighters.
Dassault Aviation and its partners thank the Qatari Authorities for having given them this renewed opportunity to comfort 40 years of outstanding cooperation between the French aviation industry and the Qatar Emiri Air Force.
Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.
Equipped with a wide range of weapons, the Rafale is intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The Rafale is referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.
It is equipped with the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and the OSF (optronique secteur frontal) infra-red search and track (IRST) system.
The Rafale carries a 30 mm GIAT 30 DEFA cannon and can be armed with SCALP EG cruise missiles, MBDA Meteor BVR air-to-air missiles and AM39 Exocet sea skimming anti-ship missiles. The ones used by French military is even capable of conducting nuclear strikes when armed with ASMP-A missiles.
The aircraft is available in three main variants: Rafale C single-seat land-based version, Rafale B twin-seat land-based version, and Rafale M single-seat carrier-based version.
Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and it has been selected for purchase by the Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force.