Qatar has at least one operational Patriot air-defence system, Major General Hamad al-Dawai al-Nabit, the commander of the recently formed Qatar Emiri Air Defences Forces (QEADF) told journalists during a visit to his headquarters on 27 November.
“Patriot is already in position,” he said, adding that all the fire units ordered by Qatar will be “totally fielded in the next two years”. He declined to comment on the number of fire units currently operational or their locations.
The Patriots are initially being operated with the assistance of US personnel, but Qataris will gradually take over as more trained QEADF operators become available, Gen Hamad said.
When asked if there are plans to withdraw the US Army Patriots currently at Al-Udeid Air Base as the QEADF stands up more units, he said this was entirely a US decision.