The USAF has contracted Boeing under a Foreign Military Sales arrangement to manufacture 36 new F-15QA fighters for Qatar.
The US6.1bn (A$7.8bn) contract is somewhat less than the estimated US$21bn (A$27bn) deal that was approved by the US State Department in November 2016, but may just represent a first tranche.
That previous approval included provision for US-based Lead-in-Fighter-Training, associated ground support, US Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. It also non-recurring items such as training materials, maintenance support equipment, technical publications, initial personnel training, and simulators.
Qatar has also recently ordered a similar number of Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, which will see it operating one of the most diverse and capable air combat forces in the region.
The country has been increasingly isolated in recent months due to a trade and travel blockade by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member nations led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE over their perception of Qatar’s support for ISIS and a softening of its stance on Iran.
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