Qatar surprised many observers by ordering not just one fighter-bomber aircraft type, but three: the French Rafale, US F-15QA and the European Typhoon. This has been followed in recent weeks with a serious interest in the F-35. In a surprise move by Major General Salem bin Hamad al Nabet today he announced the Qatar Emiri Air Force plans to have every aircraft type ever made in service by 2026.
In press conference held at a branch of Nando’s in Doha, the Major General announced the radical plan. Holding aloft a copy of The Observer’s Book Aircraft with one and bottle of Peri-Peri sauce in the other he announced he wanted “everything“.
“It would be so cool to have Spitfires, and like Concordes and those swing-wing ones! I like fast planes.” Critics of the regime have plan have noted the major general’s attic full of unmade Airfix models he got three birthdays ago. According to Tozz Feek from the Kol Khara news network, “He has a massive Hurricane model, it’s like 1/24 scale…he started it like two years ago and hasn’t even put the wings on yet”
Despite this, he unveiled the air force’s long term acquisition plan, which begin with the opening of the first Avro Qatar factory which is slated to begin production of 125 Vulcan bombers in 2024. Other large bombers to be built in-country will include the Avro Lincoln and Convair B-36 Peacemaker.
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Qatar will start with the letter A, procuring aircraft designed by Aachen Flugzeugbau working through to types from Azalea Aviation. According to Tammy Hopscotch from the aviation magazine Aerosemary’s Baby, “There are many rumours that Qatar is building a kind of ‘Noah’s ark’ of aeroplanes which once complete with every type will be launched into space.”
Representatives from Swedish fighter manufacturer Saab say they are playing it cool and though they admit going for an intimate dinner with the Head of acquisition, they will wait for him to call, “as they like him, but don’t want to look too easy.”