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Qatar Armed Forces
Commander-in-Chief Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Minister of Defense Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Chief of General Staff Major-General Ghanem bin Shaheen Al-Ghanem
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.)
Active personnel 11,800 total
*Army 8,500
*Navy 1,800
*Air Force 1,500
Budget US$ $816 million (FY99/00)
Percent of GDP 8.1% (FY99/00)
Related articles
History Gulf War
Libyan civil war

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. The presence of a large American military base in the country provides the country with a guaranteed source of defense and national security.


Qatar took part in the Gulf War of 1991, with a battalion at the Battle of Khafji. It also hosted the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Doha.[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]


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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 of 8,500 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.

Qatar signed a contract with the German defense company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) for the delivery of 24 artillery systems PzH 2000 and 62 LEOPARD 2 main battle tanks. Deliveries will take place from 2015 to 2018.[3]

The US DSCA announces that Qatar wants to join its neighbor the UAE, and field 2 medium-range THAAD batteries of its own.

Their request is worth up to $6.5 billion, and includes up to 12 THAAD Launchers, 150 THAAD missiles, 2 THAAD Fire Control and Communications units, 2 AN/TPY-2 THAAD Radars, and 1 Early Warning Radar (EWR). The USA would also sell them the required trucks, generators, electrical power units, trailers, communications equipment, fire unit test & maintenance equipment, system integration and checkout, repair and return, training, and other support.[4]

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 anti tank missiles

Surface to air missiles

  • 9x Roland missile MK-II SP-SAM launchers with 200 missiles
  • 7x MIM23B Adv. Hawk SAM launchers
  • 18x Rapier SAM launcher with 250 missiles & 6x Blindfire Radars
  • 6x Blowpipe missile MANPADs launchers with 50 missiles
  • 24x MBDA Mistral MANPADs launchers with 500 missiles
  • 12x FIM92C Stinger MANPADs launchers with 60 missiles
  • SA-7B Grail MANPADs
  • S400 Air Defence System
  • Patriot Pac 3

Small arms

Qatar Emiri Air Force

Qatar Emiri Air Force
Founded 1974-present
Country Qatar
Brigadier General Mubarak Mohammed Al Kumait Al Khayarin
Roundel Roundel 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 seat 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.,[16] 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.[17]

Air Force equipment

Qatari Mirage F1

Qatari Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jet flying over Libya during Military intervention

These aircraft numbers are sourced from, an organisation of Dutch aviation enthusiasts.[18]

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 21 21 in total on order
Airbus 340  France VIP transport 2
Airbus 320


Airbus 310


Airbus 300

Boeing 747-SP
United States


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 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, first delivery 1997
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:-

  • 6x TRS-2100 Tiger radars  France
  • TTL BTT-3 Banashee target drone  United Kingdom

Future aircraft

  • 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).[19] 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.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • Qatar Emiri Air Force Orders 24 PC-21 Training Aircraft.

Switzerland — Pilatus Aircraft Ltd.The QEAF Air Academy will receive their first aircraft in the middle of 2014.

  • 24 AH-64D Apache Longbow[22]

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress April 16 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Kuwait for 1 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $371 million.[23]


Qatar has a small 1,800-man navy, including its marine police force and coastal defence artillery. Since 1990, the Qatari Navy has increased its manpower. The navy headquarters is at Doha there is also a 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.  United Kingdom
  • 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

  • MBDA Exocet MM40 Block-III (x70)\ MM-40 (x220)\ MM-38 SSMs  France
  • MBDA Mistral SAMs  France
  • 4x Goalkeeper anti missile\aircraft gun  United Kingdom\ Netherlands
  • 4x Stingeo ship sensor  Netherlands
  • 4x Exocet coast defense batteries  France
  • 4x 76\72 Compact-weapon system  Italy
  • 4x MMR-3D Radar  France

Future Acquisitions

The patrol boat program calls for the delivery of six patrol boats with the first unit beginning construction in 2012 and being delivered by 2014. Although the proposals for the corvette program are due in the near-term as well, AMI believes that the four corvettes may not begin construction for several more years as Damen/Nakilat may want to gain some experience with the smaller 62-meter patrol boat hulls prior to moving on the larger Sigma hulls. If the QENF wishes to move the corvette program forward to an earlier date, it could start some of the hull blocks at Nakilat and/or at Damen in the Netherlands much earlier.[24]


  1. The Gulf War with the 401TFW/614TFS Lucky Devils. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  2. Qatar premier defends military participation. (2011-03-22). Retrieved on 2013-09-26.
  3. Qatar; Rheinmetall awarded $635 Million for Leo-2A7, Pz-2000 support contract -, 20 June 2013
  4. Gulf States Requesting ABM-Capable Systems
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Qatar Orders 24 PzH 2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 62 Leopard 2 A7+ Main Battle Tanks -, April 18, 2013
  7. "Qatar Qatari army land ground forces military equipment armoured armored vehicle intelligence UK - Army Recognition". 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Piranha II 2 90 mm gun Qatar Qatari army pictures photos images combat anti-tank wheeled armoured UK - Army Recognition - Army Recognition". 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  9. "The Wheeled Piranha Fighting Vehicle Family". 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  10. "VAB (Vehicule de l'Avant Blinde) Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicle". Army Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  11. "Qatar orders 27 military vehicles from Renault". defenceWeb. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  12. "Denel G5 155mm - Towed Howitzer - History, Specs and Pictures - Military Tanks, Vehicles and Artillery". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  13. Jane's Special Forces Recognition Guide, Ewen Southby-Tailyour (2005), p. 446
  14. Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 9780710628695
  15. Gangarossa, Gene Jr. Heckler & Koch: Armorers of the Free World (2001)
  16. Scramble on the Web – Qatar Emiri Air Force. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  17. United Arab Emirates, Library of Congress Country Study, 1993
  18. "Scramble on the Web – Qatar Emiri Air Force". Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  19. Qatar Armed Forces Sign Contract for 18 AW139 Helicopters – ASDNews. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  20. "The Qatar Armed Forces Order Three EMS-Configured AW139s" Agusta Westland 21 March 2011
  21. "Qatar targets multibillion-dollar fighter jet deal". The National. 6 January 2011. 
  22. "FMS: Qatar Wants 24 AH-64D Apache Block III Longbow Attack Helicopters". 2012-07-12. Retrieved 2012-08-06. 
  24. News | Doha international Maritime Defence Exhibition And Conference

See also

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