Dassault Aviation announced Tuesday that it has begun exercising an option to deliver more Rafale fighter jets to Qatar.
The firm said that it has received Qatar’s down payment for a follow-on batch of 12 Rafale fighters, bringing into force the order it awarded in December last year.
When fully delivered, Qatar’s fleet will comprise 36 Rafales. It follows the contract signed on 4 May 2015 between the State of Qatar and Dassault Aviation for the acquisition of 24 Rafale aircraft. It was worth €6.3 billion and included MBDA Meteor long-range and Scalp cruise missiles.
The Rafale fighters will be equipped with Lockheed Martin Sniper laser targeting pods. Additionally, they will be stripped of the capability to deliver nuclear weapons and will also lose NATO standard communications capabilities that were fitted for the French Air Force and Navy.