February 6, a ceremony hosted by Eric Trappier, Dassault Aviation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, was held in Merignac facility for the delivery of the first Rafale to the Qatari Emiri Air Force, under the patronage of His Excellency Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs, and Geneviève Darrieussecq, French State Secretary to the Minister of Armed Forces, and in the presence of Qatar Emiri Air Force Commander, Major General Mubarak Al Khayareen.
The first Rafale delivery, on schedule, comes after the signature in May 2015 of the contract for the acquisition by the State of Qatar of 24 Rafale to equip its Air Force, and an additional 12, in December 2017, for a total of 36 aircraft to fly under the Qatari colors.
In the frame of this contract, a large group of Qatari pilots as well as technicians are being trained in France both by the French Air Force and the French Industry.
The very high level of the guests attending that ceremony reflects the importance of the historic and strategic partnership between Qatar, France and Dassault Aviation, and the Rafale, following on from the Mirage F1, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, will carry out the tradition and will contribute to secure the sovereignty of the state of Qatar.
“For the fourth time in our long and trustful partnership with Qatar, a Dassault Aviation aircraft will serve proudly in the Qatari Emiri Air Force. This first delivery is the culmination of a relationship started more than 40 years ago and I am very pleased and grateful that once again the State of Qatar, has renewed its confidence in our dedication and confirmed not once, but twice, the choice of the Rafale to protect its land and people”, declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.