Qatar Armed Forces

Qatar Armed Forces
Emblem of Qatar.svg
Emblem of Qatar
Service branches
Commander-in-ChiefSheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Minister of State for Defence AffairsDr. Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah
Chief of General StaffLieutenant General Ghanem bin Shaheen Al-Ghanem
Military age18 years of age
Available for
military service
389,487 males, age 15–49 (2010 est.),
210,00 females, age 15–49 (2010 est.)
Fit for
military service
321,974 males, age 15–49 (2010 est.),
140,176 females, age 15–49 (2010 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
6,429 males (2010 est.),
5,162 females (2010 est.)
Active personnel36,000 total personnel [1][failed verification]
Reserve personnel14,500 reserve personnel
BudgetUS$5.907 billion (2010)[2]
Percent of GDP2.5% (2016)
Related articles
HistoryGulf War
Libyan Civil War
Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen
Soldiers at Military Parade on Qatar National Day on the 18th of December 2018. Photo by Ijas Muhammed Photography

The Qatar Armed Forces are the military forces of Qatar. Since 2015, Qatar has implemented mandatory military conscription with an average of 2000 graduates per year.[3] As of 2010, Qatar's defence expenditures added up to a total of $1.913 billion, about 1.5% of the national GDP, according to the SIPRI.[2] Qatar has recently signed defence pacts with the United States in 2002[4] and 2013[5] and with the 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 also hosts the largest American military base in the Middle East and in 2017 inaugurated a military attache office in Washington.[6]

SIPRI states that Qatar's plans to transform and significantly enlarge its armed forces have accelerated in 2014, and in 2010-14 Qatar was the 46th largest arms importer in the world. Orders in 2013 for 62 tanks and 24 self-propelled guns from Germany were followed in 2014 by a number of other contracts, including 24 combat helicopters and 3 AEW aircraft from the USA, and 2 tanker aircraft from Spain.[7] As of 2016, Qatar maintains advanced anti air and anti ship capabilities with deliveries of Patriot PAC-3 MSE Batteries,[8] Exocet MM40 Block 3 and Marte ER anti-ship missiles.[9]


The armed forces were founded in 1971 after the country gained independence from the United Kingdom.

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.[10]

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 the participation of its Air Force in the enforcement of the Libyan no-fly zone.[11]

Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen

According to Aljazeera news, in December 2016 Qatar deployed 1,000 ground troops in Yemen to fight in behalf of the ousted president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, Qatar Armed Forces soldiers, backed by 200 armoured vehicles and 30 Apache helicopters, head to Yemen's Marib province.[12]

The Armed Forces of Qatar have suffered 4 killed and 2 wounded during the deployment in Yemen.[13]

Military branches


Qatar Armed Forces in training.

The Qatar Emiri Land Force is the largest branch of the Qatar Armed Forces.

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 was equipped with French-built AMX-30 main battle tanks, before later being replaced by German Leopard 2A7's.[14] 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.

Qatar Armed Forces in National Day celebrations on the Doha Corniche.

Qatari tank battalion fought in the Gulf war in 1991, their AMX-30s took part in the battle of Khafji. Qatari contingent, composed mostly of Pakistani recruits, acquitted itself well during the war.[15]

Qatar signed a contract with the German defence company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) for the delivery of 24 artillery systems PzH 2000 and 62 LEOPARD 2 main battle tanks.[16]

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.[17]

Major Army units


  • Royal Guard Brigade
    • Infantry Battalion
    • Infantry Battalion
    • Infantry Battalion
  • Qatari Army
    • Special Forces Company
    • Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • Artillery Battalion
      • Artillery Battery
      • Artillery Battery
      • Artillery Battery
      • Artillery Battery
      • Anti-aircraft Battery
  • Armored Brigade
    • Mortar Company
    • Tank Battalion
    • Mechanized Infantry Battalion
    • Anti-tank Battalion

Tanks and vehicles

Fire Support / Artillery

Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
L16 81mm  United Kingdom Mortar 30 81mmMORT L16.png
AMX F3 155mm  France Self-propelled howitzer 22 AMX-13-155mm img 2332.jpg Being replaced by PzH2000
PzH 2000 155mm  Germany Self-propelled howitzer 24 155mm Self-propelled cannon in Afghanistan.jpg
G5 155mm  South Africa Towed howitzer 12 G-5Rear.jpg G5 155mm towed howitzer[27] - to be replaced by PzH 2000[20]
BM-21 Grad 122mm  Soviet Union Multiple Rocket Launcher Unknown BM-21 NTW 5 93.jpg
Astros II MLRS  Brazil Multiple Rocket Launcher 3 ASTROS-2.JPEG 127mm SS-30 or 180mm SS-40
HIMARS  United States Multiple Rocket Launcher 7 HIMARS.jpg In December 2012, Qatar notified the U.S. of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 7 M142 HIMARS systems, as well as 60 M57 MGM-140 ATACMS Block 1A T2K unitary rockets and 30 M31A1 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) unitary rockets. The deal would cost an estimated $406 million.[28]


Name Origin Type Number Photo Notes
Anti-aircraft missiles
Patriot PAC-3  United States Surface-to-air missile 11 PAC-3 Iruma Airbase 2006-1.jpg In 2012 Qatar requested 11 Patriot PAC-3 launchers and 246 PATRIOT MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles.[30]
Rapier  United Kingdom Surface-to-air missile 18 Swiss rapier missile.jpg 18 launchers with 250 missiles & 6 Blindfire Radars
Roland  France Surface-to-air missile 9 AMX-30 Roland img 2306.jpg In 1986 Qatar ordered 3 self-propelled Roland 2 systems on the AMX-30R chassis and 6 shelter-mounted systems with 200 missiles. Deliveries were completed in 1989.[14]
THAAD  United States Surface-to-air missile 12 The first of two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors is launched during a successful intercept test - US Army.jpg In 2014 Qatar ordered 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).[31]
Blowpipe  United Kingdom Surface-to-air missile 6 Blowpipe missile 2.JPG 6 launchers with 50 missiles
Mistral  France Surface-to-air missile 24 54RA-IMG 9142.jpg 24 launchers with 500 missiles
Stinger  United States Surface-to-air missile 12 USMC Stinger launch at Twentynine Palms July 2001.jpg 12 launchers with 60 missiles

Small arms


The Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN), also called the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces (QENF), is the naval branch of the armed forces of the State of Qatar.

Qatar Emiri Air Force

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.[35] 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.[36]

Air Force equipment

Qatari Mirage F1
Qatari Dassault Mirage 2000 fighter jet flying over Libya during Military intervention
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Notes
Mirage 2000  France Multirole fighter Mirage 2000-5 12 Operated by the 7th Air Superiority Squadron, first delivery 1997
Rafale  France Multirole fighter Rafale 0 18 single-seat and 6 two-seat versions on order (24)[37] and 12 more were ordered[38]
F-15E  United States Strike fighter


0 In June 2017, US agreed to sell 36 Boeing F-15QA Strike Eagle aircraft[39]
Eurofighter Typhoon  European Union Multirole fighter 0 24 on order, first delivery 2022[40]
Boeing 737 AEW&C  United States Airborne early warning and control Boeing 737 AEW/C 0 3 on order[41]
Airbus A330 MRTT  Spain Aerial refuelling and transport A330 MRTT 0 2 on order[41]
Dassault Falcon 900  France VIP transport 2
Airbus 340  France VIP transport 2
Airbus 320


Airbus 310


Airbus 300

Boeing 747SP  United States VIP transport

Boeing C-17 Globemaster III  United States Strategic air transport C-17A 4

One aircraft operated by Qatar Amiri Flight, 4 entered service between 2009-2012. Four more are on order as of June 2015.[42]

Boeing 707  United States VIP transport 2
Boeing 727  United States VIP transport 1
C-130J Super Hercules  United States Tactical air transport C-130J-30 4 All entered service in 2011
PAC Super Mushshak  Pakistan Trainer aircraft PAC Super Mushshak 8
Piper Cherokee  United States Training and Liaison PA-28 Archer 10
Piper PA-34 Seneca  United States Training and Liaison PA-34 Seneca 4
Pilatus PC-21   Switzerland Basic & Advanced Trainer aircraft PC-21 0 24 on order[43]
Alpha Jet  France Advanced trainer/light attack Alpha Jet E 6 Operated by the 6th Close Support Squadron
Boeing AH-64 Apache  United States Attack helicopter AH-64D 0 24 on order[41]
NHIndustries NH90  France Medium transport NH-90 0 12 on order[41]
NHIndustries NH90  Italy Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and Anti-surface unit warfare (ASuW) NFH-90 0 10 on order[44]
Westland Lynx-HC28
 United Kingdom

3 (status unknown)
probably taken out of service
Aérospatiale Gazelle  France Utility/attack helicopter SA 342G (12)/L (2) 14 Operated by 6th Close Support Squadron
Sikorsky UH-60R Sea Hawk
 United States
ASW helicopter

6 requested, but not actually ordered?
AgustaWestland AW139  Italy 18 Tactical transport, 3 medivac 21
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

  • In May 2015, the Air Force signed a deal for 24 Dassault Rafale fighters worth €6.3 billion ($7 billion). This deal makes Qatar the third export customer for the fighter after Egypt and India.[45]
  • The Government of Qatar has signed an agreement with Boeing to buy additional four C-17 Globemaster III airlifters, aimed to support Qatar Armed Forces' (QAF) ongoing airlift requirements.[46]

See also


  1. ^ [1][permanent dead link].2017 Qatar Military Strength.
  2. ^ a b "The SIPRI Military Expenditure Database". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Qatar’s national service program puts new emphasis on military training Archived 2017-07-28 at the Wayback Machine", Doha News. Retrieved 25 June 2017
  4. ^ U.S. and Qatar Sign Pact to Update Bases, December 12, 2002
  5. ^ Shanker, Thom (11 December 2013). "Hagel Lifts Veil on Major Military Center in Qatar" – via
  6. ^ "Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  7. ^ "Trends in International Arms Transfer, 2014". Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Archived from the original on 19 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Lockheed Martin providing additional PAC-3 MSEs to US Army and upgrading PAC-3 missiles for FMS Archived 2017-07-28 at the Wayback Machine", Jane's 360. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Qatar signs for MBDA coastal missile system Archived 2017-07-28 at the Wayback Machine", Jane's 360. 02 September 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  10. ^ The Gulf War with the 401TFW/614TFS Lucky Devils Archived November 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-03-28.
  11. ^ Qatar premier defends military participation. (2011-03-22). Retrieved on 2013-09-26.
  12. ^ "Qatar deploys 1,000 ground troops to fight in Yemen".
  13. ^ "Three Qatar soldiers killed in Yemen". Archived from the original on 2017-10-04. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  14. ^ a b "Qatar takes delivery of Leopard 2A7+ MBTs | Jane's 360". Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  15. ^ John Pike. "Qatari Amiri Land Force". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  16. ^ [2][dead link]
  17. ^ "Gulf States Requesting ABM-Capable Systems". Defense Industry Daily. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  18. ^ Pike, John. "Qatari Amiri Land Force".
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-10-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ a b c Qatar Orders 24 PzH 2000 Self-Propelled Howitzers and 62 Leopard 2 A7+ Main Battle Tanks -, April 18, 2013
  21. ^ "Report: Qatar To Order 118 German Battle Tanks". Defense News. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Qatar Qatari army land ground forces military equipment armoured armored vehicle intelligence UK - Army Recognition". 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  23. ^ "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.
  24. ^ "The Wheeled Piranha Fighting Vehicle Family". 2011-11-24. Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  25. ^ "VAB (Vehicule de l'Avant Blinde) Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicle". Army Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2012-08-06.[unreliable source?]
  26. ^ "Qatar orders 27 military vehicles from Renault". defenceWeb. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  27. ^ "Denel G5 155mm - Towed Howitzer - History, Specs and Pictures - Military Tanks, Vehicles and Artillery". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  28. ^ Qatar Requests Sale of HIMARS, ATACMS and GMLRS -, December 24, 2012
  29. ^ $23.9B in Deals Announced on Last Day of DIMDEX -, 27 March 2014
  30. ^ "Qatar – PATRIOT Missile System and Related Support and Equipment - The Official Home of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency".
  31. ^ "Gulf States Requesting ABM-Capable Systems".
  32. ^ Jane's Special Forces Recognition Guide, Ewen Southby-Tailyour (2005), p. 446
  33. ^ Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 9780710628695
  34. ^ Gangarossa, Gene Jr. Heckler & Koch: Armorers of the Free World (2001)
  35. ^ Scramble on the Web – Qatar Emiri Air Force. Retrieved on 2011-03-28. Archived April 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ United Arab Emirates, Library of Congress Country Study, 1993
  37. ^ Tran, Pierre (2015-05-03). "Qatar Deal Helps France Set Export Record". Defense News. Retrieved 2015-09-19.[permanent dead link]
  38. ^ Tran, Pierre (30 March 2018). "Qatar makes down payment to Dassault for 12 more Rafale jets". Defense News. Archived from the original on 30 March 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  39. ^ Capaccio, Anthony; Wadhams, Nick (14 June 2017). "Qatar Signs $12 Billion Deal for U.S. F-15 Jets Amid Gulf Crisis". Bloomberg.
  40. ^ Johnston, Chris (10 December 2017). "Qatar buys 24 Eurofighter jets for £6bn". BBC News. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  41. ^ a b c d "$23.9B in Deals Announced on Last Day of DIMDEX". Defense News. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  42. ^ Defense Daily (2015-06-15). "Qatar Purchases Four C-17s Defense Daily Network". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  43. ^ Reed Business Information Limited. "Qatar signs deal for 24 Pilatus PC-21s". Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  44. ^ "Qatar to buy 22 French military helicopters". Retrieved 23 October 2014.
  45. ^ "France sells 24 Rafale to Qatar in a 7 billion-deal". 30 April 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  46. ^ "Qatar to purchase four Boeing C-17 Globemaster III airlifters".[unreliable source?]