DOHA --- His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, on Wednesday attended a reception ceremony to welcome the first squadron of Rafale fighter jets of the Qatari Amiri Air Force from France.
The reception was attended by officers, non-commissioned officers and members of the squadron Al Adiyat.
The deal for the Rafale fighter jets was concluded in May 2015 with French company Dassault Aviation SA.
HH the Amir witnessed a live air show of the Rafale aircraft carried out by the Qatar Amiri Air Force pilots upon arrival at Dukhan Air Base on Wednesday afternoon.
The Amir also toured the base after welcoming the arriving pilots, and inspecting the squadron of Al Adiyat.
The Amir was accompanied by HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, HE Chief of Staff of Qatari Armed Forces Lieutenant General (Pilot) Ghanem bin Shaheen al-Ghanim, Commander of Qatari Amiri Air Force Major General (Pilot) Salem Hamad al-Nabet, Commander of the Dukhan Air Base and the officer of the Rafale aircraft project Brigadier General Salim Abdullah al-Dosari.
The Amir was briefed on the base and the most prominent operations and the combat and offensive capabilities of Al Adiyat squadron.
During the ceremony, al-Nabet and al-Dosari delivered speeches.
Senior officers of the Qatar Armed Forces and the Amiri Air Force, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dassault Eric Trappier, French ambassador Franck Gellet, and Representative of the executive director of French company MBDA Jean Luc Lamothe attended the ceremony.
The Amir and HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah at the Dukhan Air Base.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Yesterday’s delivery comprised five Rafales, out of the first batch of 24 that Qatar ordered in 2015; a second order for 12 more was signed in 2018.
France formally handed the first aircraft over to Qatar in February during a ceremony in Merignac, in southwestern France, where the planes are built. The aircraft have remained in France since then for pilot training.)