Qatar Takes Delivery of First Rafale

The first Qatar Emiri Air Force Rafale to be handed over, QA202, during a pre-delivery flight test. Dassault

QATAR HAS taken delivery of its first ~Dassault Rafale.  The aircraft, two-seat Rafale DQ QA202 (DQ02), was formally handed over to the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) during a ceremony at Bordeaux-Merignac, France, on February 6.  During the hand-over, the French deputy Minister of Defence said that a total of 21 Rafales will be delivered to the QEAF during 2019.

A $7.05 billion contract for the purchase of 24 Rafales for the QEAF had been signed in Doha on May 4, 2015.  The deal covered 18 single-seat Rafale EQs and six twin-seat Rafale DQs, with options to purchase a further batch of either 12 or 24 aircraft.  During December 2017 an option for a further 12 aircraft was exercised, although the split between single and two-seaters in this batch is unconfirmed.

The first QEAF Rafale, twin-seater DQ01, first flew on June 28, 2016, while the first single-seat aircraft, EQ01, followed on March 27, 2017.  A large group of QEAF pilots and technicians are being trained in France as part of the contract, both by the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) and French industry.