Qatar expects six F-15 warplanes to be delivered to its air force by March 2021, a military official said on Monday, the first batch of 36 it agreed to buy from the United States last year for $12 billion.
Brigadier General Issa al-Mahannadi told reporters at the Al Udeid air base in Qatar that a further six F-15s would be dispatched three months after the initial batch, with four more expected every three months thereafter:
“This is not a purchase, it is a strategic partnership with the U.S.,” Mahannadi said.
Qatar will send its pilots to the U.S. for training beginning this year:
The tiny but wealthy Gulf state will begin sending eight pilots per year to the United States for training this year, Mahannadi added, while transitioning some of its experienced Qatari pilots to fly the F-15s in order to establish a 53-person aircrew for them by 2023.
U.S. company Boeing will manufacture and deliver the jets to Qatar:
Boeing was awarded the contract for the F-15s.
Brigadier General Issa al-Mahannadi said Boeing will begin construction on the planes in 2020:
Mahannadi said construction on the area for the F-15s would start in 2020 and be completed by 2021, in time to receive the first delivery.