Qatar Armed Forces

Qatar Armed Forces
Qatar Armed Forces
Commander-in-Chief Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Minister of Defense Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Chief of General Staff Major-General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah
Military age 18 years of age
Available for
military service
Males aged 15–49: 306,850 (note: includes non-nationals (2000 est.)), age 15–49
Fit for
military service
Males age 15–49: 160,899 (2000 est.), age 15–49
Reaching military
age annually
Males: 6,471 (2000 est.)
Budget US$ $816 million (FY99/00)
Percent of GDP 8.1% (FY99/00)

The Qatar Armed Forces are the military forces of Qatar. The country maintains a modest military force of approximately 11,800 men, including an army (8,500), navy (1,800) and air force (1,500). Qatar's defense expenditures accounted for approximately 4.2% of gross national product in 1993. Qatar has recently[when?] signed defense pacts with the United States and United Kingdom, as well as with France earlier in 1994. Qatar plays an active role in the collective defense efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council; the other five members are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE, and Oman.



Qatar played an important[peacock term] role in the Gulf War of 1991, taking part in the Battle of Khafji and providing important basing areas for U.S. forces.[1]

In July 2008, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency announced Qatar’s official request for logistics support, training, and associated equipment and services. The total value of the support arrangements could be as high as $400 million.

In March 2011, Qatar announced to participate with its Air Force in the enforcement of the Libyan no-fly zone.[2]


This is the largest branch of the Qatar Armed Forces. Qatar maintains a modest military force of approximately 11,800 men, the army is made of8,500 men. The lack of sufficient indigenous manpower to staff the army is a continuing problem, Qatari citizens constitute only 30 percent of the army, in which more than twenty nationalities are represented.

Initially outfitted with British weaponry, Qatar shifted much of its procurement to France during the 1980s in response to French efforts to develop closer relations. The tank battalion is equipped with French-built AMX-30 main battle tanks. Other armored vehicles include French AMX-10P APCs and the French VAB, adopted as the standard wheeled combat vehicle. The artillery unit has a few French 155mm self-propelled howitzers. The principal antitank weapons are French Milan and HOT wire-guided missiles.

Qatar had also illicitly acquired a few Stinger shoulder-fired SAMs, possibly from Afghan rebel groups, at a time when the United States was trying to maintain tight controls on Stingers in the Middle East. When Qatar refused to turn over the missiles, the United States Senate in 1988 imposed a ban on the sale of all weapons to Qatar. The ban was repealed in late 1990 when Qatar satisfactorily accounted for its disposition of the Stingers.

Qatari tank battalion fought in the Gulf war in 1991, their AMX-30's took part in the battle of Khafji. Qatari contingent, composed mostly of Pakistani recruits, acquitted itself well during the war.

As United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Qatar is buying Leopard 2 tanks. In 2009 Germany delivered 36 tanks to the Qatari tank battalion, where they will replace the 44 AMX-30 that are left, dating from sales in 1977 (24) and 1987 (30).

Major Army units

  • 1x Armored Brigade (1x armd battalion,1x mech battalion,1x arty battalion)
  • 4x Mechanized Battalions
  • 1x Royal Guard Brigade (3x Inf.battalions)
  • 1x Special Forces Battalion
  • 2x Artillery Battalions

Tanks and vehicles

Artillery and missiles

Small arms

Qatar Emiri Air Force

Qatar Emiri Air Force
Founded 1974-present
Country Qatar
Brigadier General Mubarak Mohammed Al Kumait Al Khayarin
Roundel of Qatar.svg
Air Force Ensign
Qatar Air Force flag.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack Aérospatiale Gazelle
Interceptor Dassault Mirage 2000
Patrol Eurocopter SA342
Reconnaissance Westland Sea King Commando Mk 2
Trainer Dornier Alpha Jet Piper Cherokee Piper PA-34 Seneca
Transport C-17 Globemaster III AgustaWestland AW139 Boeing 707 Boeing 727 Dassault Falcon 900 Sikorsky S-92

The Qatar Emiri Air Force was formed in 1974, three years after achieving independence from Great Britain in 1971. Initially equipped with ex-RAF Hawker Hunters, the air force soon began expansion with six Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jets in 1979. Fourteen Dassault Mirage F1 were delivered between 1980-84. After the Gulf War, Qatar's air force infrastructure was upgraded by France for $200 million, leading to the order of nine single Mirage 2000-5DEA multi-role combat aircraft and three two seat Mirage 2000-5DDA combat trainers in August 1994. Deliveries started in December 1997, and involved the buy back of the remaining 11 Mirage F1s by France that were later sold on to Spain. ,[6] The current commander of the Qatar Emiri Air Force is Brigadier General Mubarak Mohammed Al Kumait Al Khayarin.

British pilots in Oman remain on duty with the air force, and French specialists are employed in a maintenance capacity. Nevertheless, an increasing number of young Qataris have been trained as pilots and technicians.

Its units include:

As of January 1993, all the air force's aircraft were based at Doha International Airport.[7]

Air Force equipment

Qatari Mirage F1
Qatari Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jet flying over Libya during Military intervention
Qatari Boeing C-17 at Adelaide Airport in January 2011.

These aircraft numbers are sourced from, an organisation of Dutch aviation enthusiasts.[8]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Notes
Aérospatiale Gazelle  France Utility/attack helicopter SA 342G (12)/L (2) 14 Operated by 6th Close Support Squadron
AgustaWestland AW139  Italy Tactical transport/medivac 5 21 in total on order
Airbus 340  France VIP transport 2
Airbus 320


Airbus 310


Airbus 300

Hawker HP 800XP
 United Kingdom
VIP transport

Boeing 747-SP
 United States


BAe Hawk 200\203
 United Kingdom
Jet trainer\CAS

18 ordered
Sikorsky UH-60R Sea Hawk
 United States
ASW helicopter

6 ordered
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III  United States Strategic air transport C-17A 2

Operated by Qatar Amiri Flight

Boeing 707  United States VIP transport 2
Boeing 727  United States VIP transport 1
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet  France/ Germany Advanced trainer/light attack Alpha Jet E 6 Operated by the 6th Close Support Squadron
Dassault Falcon 900  France VIP transport 2
Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma

12 (6 SA-330J+6 SA-332F Super-Puma\SA-532 Cougar)

Westland Lynx-HC28
 United Kingdom

3 (status unknown)

Dassault Mirage 2000  France Multirole fighter Mirage 2000-5 12 Operated by the 7th Air Superiority Squadron
Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules  United States Tactical air transport C-130J-30 4
Piper Cherokee  United States Training and Liaison PA-28 Archer 10
Piper PA-34 Seneca  United States Training and Liaison PA-34 Seneca 4
Sikorsky S-92  United States VIP transport 2
Westland Commando  United Kingdom Transport/utility and maritime patrol helicopter Commando 2A, 2C and 3 variants 12-13 Commando 2A/2C are operated by 9th Multirole Squadron

Commando 3 are operated by 8th Anti Surface Vessel Squadron

Historical Aircraft


Other equipment:-

Future aircraft

  • Four Lockheed C-130J-30 Super Hercules have been ordered at a total value of $393 million
  • In July 2008, Qatar’s Emiri Air Force signed a EUR 260 million (currently about $400 million) contract with AgustaWestland for 18 AW139 medium twin helicopters (formerly the AB139, until the Bell partnership dissolved in 2005).[9] The helicopters will be used for utility tasks, troop transport, search and rescue, border patrol, special forces operations, law enforcement and homeland security. Three additional aircraft were ordered in March 2011 for Medivac services.[10]
  • As of January 2011, the Air Force is evaluating the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Boeing F-15E and the Dassault Rafale to replace its current fighter inventory of Dassault Mirage 2000-5s. The total order will be between 24–36 aircraft with a procurement decision to be made by the end of 2012.[11]


Qatar has a small navy 1,800-man navy, including its marine police force and coastal defence artillery. Since the 1990, the Qatari Navy has increased its manpower.

The navy headquarter at Doha and has base at Halul island. The commander of the Navy is Commodore Mohammed Nasser al-Mohanadi.


  • 4 Vosper patrol boats – 120 tons full load  United Kingdom
  • 4 Vosper Thornycroft Vita-class Fast Attack Craft – 480 tons full load – 8 x MM40 Exocet missiles (+8 Mistral SAMs), 1 x Goalkeeper gun, 1 x 76mm gun.  France
  • 3 Combattante III Fast Attack Craft – 430 tons full load – 8 x MM40 Exocet missiles, 1 x 76mm gun, 2 x 40mm guns, 4 x 30mm guns  France
  • 6 Vosper 110 ft. class PCs  United Kingdom
  • 6 Damen Polycat 1,450 class PCs
  • 2 Keith Nelson type 44 ft.class PCs
  • 2 Fairey Marine Interceptor class PCs  United Kingdom
  • 4 MV-45 class PCs
  • 25 Fairy Marine Spear class  United Kingdom
  • 5 P-1500 class PCs
  • 4 DV-15 class PCs
  • 3 Helmatic M-160 class PCs
  • 1 Robha class LCT (3x MBTs\100 men)


  • 2 Halmatic (Vosper Thornycroft) Pilot craft
  • 4 Rotrork craft

Special Maritime Forces

  • 11 fast interceptor boats  Qatar

Missiles and Equipment


  1. ^ The Gulf War with the 401TFW/614TFS Lucky Devils. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  2. ^ Qatar defends participation in Libya operations. (2011-03-20). Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  3. ^ Jane's Special Forces Recognition Guide, Ewen Southby-Tailyour (2005), p. 446
  4. ^ Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-00710628695
  5. ^ Gangarossa, Gene Jr. Heckler & Koch: Armorers of the Free World (2001)
  6. ^ Scramble on the Web – Qatar Emiri Air Force. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  7. ^ United Arab Emirates, Library of Congress Country Study, 1993
  8. ^ Scramble on the Web – Qatar Emiri Air Force
  9. ^ Qatar Armed Forces Sign Contract for 18 AW139 Helicopters – ASDNews. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  10. ^ "The Qatar Armed Forces Order Three EMS-Configured AW139s" Agusta Westland 21 March 2011
  11. ^ "Qatar targets multibillion-dollar fighter jet deal". The National. 6 January 2011. 

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