Boeing has officially rolled out its new F-15QA ‘Ababil’ fighter for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF), with ferry flights to commence later this year.
The roll-out took place at the company’s St Louis factory in Missouri, where the F-15 is manufactured.
Boeing has been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year. Furthermore, Boeing will establish and operate an aircrew and maintenance training centre for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar through 2024. It will also provide in-country spares and logistics support.
“The rollout of the F-15QA is momentous, not just in terms of capability but also in terms of the enhanced partnership it represents. The relationship the United States shares with Qatar is critical to the stability and security of the central command area of responsibility, and we are grateful for our coalition partner’s continued focus on building interoperability and combined readiness,” Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, commander of 9th Air Force.
The Qatar Emiri Air Force will receive 36 F-15QAs under a $6.2 billion contract awarded in 2017.
The F-15QA also forms the basis of the developmental F-15EX “Eagle II”, of which USAF is set to obtain up to 144 examples.
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