Boeing formally rolled out its new F-15QA fighter for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) on Wednesday.
The first set of F-15QA jets will ferry to Qatar later this year following the completion of pre-delivery pilot training.
“The Qatar F-15QA program further enhanced next-generation technologies in the advanced F-15 such as the fly-by-wire flight controls, an all-glass digital cockpit and contemporary sensors, radar and electronic warfare capabilities,” said Prat Kumar, vice president of the F-15 program. “Driven by digital engineering and advanced manufacturing, these aircraft represent a transformational leap for the F-15. The F-15QA will enhance the superiority of the QEAF with more speed, range and payload than any fighter in the world.”
Boeing has been providing maintenance and logistics support for the QEAF during pre-delivery pilot training, which began earlier this year. In addition, Boeing will establish and operate an aircrew and maintenance training center for the QEAF at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar through 2024 while also providing in-country spares and logistics support once aircraft are delivered.
Qatar’s F-15QA Contract
Qatar signed a $12 billion deal with the U.S. government for 36 F-15QAs in June 2017 in a deal widely seen to save the F-15 product line. In August 2019, Boeing was awarded $500 million to provide aircrew and maintenance training for Qatari personnel.
The aircraft can take off with nearly 30,000 pounds of munitions and reach a maximum ceiling of approximately 70,000 feet.
The F-15QA is similar to Saudi Arabia’s F-15SA Advanced Eagle, which includes Raytheon’s APG-63(V)3 AESA radar, fly-by-wire control systems and 11 under-wing weapons stations. The F15-QA will be able to carry 16 AIM-120 AMRAAM, four AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles and precision-guided air-to-surface missiles.
During the same timeline, Qatar signed up to buy 36 (24 in 2015 and 12 in 2017) Dassault Rafale jets besides 24 Eurofighter Typhoon multirole jets and 9 Hawk trainers.