Qatar expects six F-15 war planes will 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 in a deal worth $12 billion.
Brigadier General Issa al-Mahannadi told reporters at the Al Udeid air base in Qatar a further six are expected to be delivered three months after the initial batch is received and four more are expected every three months thereafter.
Qatar signed agreements to buy war planes from the United States as well as Europe last year after a political dispute broke out between it and neighbors Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain.
“This is not a purchase, it is a strategic partnership with the U.S.,” Mahannadi said.
Qatar in August announced it would expand Al Udeid, which hosts the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East, to accommodate the F-15s and other fighter jets.
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.
Qatar is also buying French Rafale war planes and Eurofighter Typhoon war planes.
Boeing was awarded the contract for the F-15s.