The US Department of Defense has announced that Boeing has been awarded a $6.2bn contract to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for Qatar’s air force.
The multirole aircraft are to be delivered at the end of 2022 and will be built by the aerospace giant in St Louis, in the US state of Missouri, the Pentagon said on Friday.
“This contract provides for the foreign military sales requirement to procure 36 new F-15QA aircraft for the Qatar Emiri Air Force,” it said in a statement.
The announcement covers half of the 72 F-15s Qatar will buy from the US.
The two countries signed a deal worth $12bn in total in June after negotiations started in November 2016.
Qatari Minister of Defence Khalid al-Attiyah said the deal underscored the “long-standing commitment of the state of Qatar in jointly working with our friends and allies in the United States in advancing our military cooperation for closer strategic collaboration in our fight to counter violent extremism and promote peace and stability in our region and beyond”.
In November, a separate contract between the two countries was signed for a support programme of Qatar’s F-15 fighter aircraft. That contract had an estimated worth of $1.1bn and included the development of cybersecurity, protection, support and other related services.
Earlier this month, Qatar also said it will buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets worth $8bn from the United Kingdom.
It was the biggest order for Typhoon fighters in more than a decade and included training of air force personnel and the creation of a Joint Operation Squadron, the start of a partnership between Qatar’s air force and Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF).
The deals come as the blockade against Qatar has gone on for more than six months.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates said they would cut all diplomatic and economic ties with the Gulf nation.
Qatar has denied all allegations against it.