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Qatar Military - 2024


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Military and security forces

Qatar Armed Forces (QAF): Qatari Amiri Land Force (QALF, includes Emiri Guard), Qatari Amiri Navy (QAN, includes Coast Guard), Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF)

Ministry of Interior: General Directorate of Public Security, General Directorate of Coasts and Border Security, Internal Security Forces (includes Mobile Gendarmerie) (2024)

note: the national police and Ministry of Interior forces maintain internal security, including preventing terrorism, cyberattacks, and espionage

Military expenditures

5% of GDP (2022 est.)
4% of GDP (2021 est.)
4% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.4% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 15,000 active-duty personnel (10,000 Land Force, including Emiri Guard; 3,000 Navy; 2,000 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Qatari military's inventory includes a broad mix of older and modern weapons systems, mostly from the US and Europe; in the 2010s, Qatar embarked on an extensive military expansion and modernization program with large air, ground, and naval equipment purchases; in recent years, France and the US have been the top suppliers; other major suppliers have included Germany, Italy, and the UK; Qatar is one of the world's largest arms importers (2023)

Military service age and obligation

conscription for men aged 18-35 introduced in 2013; compulsory service times range from 4-12 months, depending on educational and professional circumstances; since 2018, women have been permitted to serve as volunteers in the armed forces, including as uniformed officers and pilots (2023)

note 1: the military incorporates about 2,000 conscripts annually

note 2: Qatar recruits foreign contract soldiers to overcome manpower limitations

Military - note

the QAF is a small and well-equipped force that is responsible for defense against external threats; following the downturn in ties with Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE in the mid-2010s, the Qatari Government embarked on a major arms acquisition and modernization program to increase the QAF’s capabilities and regional standing; the Air Force has benefited the most, growing from an inventory of 12 older combat aircraft and a few fighter trainers in 2017 to a current inventory of about 60 modern multirole fighter aircraft from France, the UK, and the US; it is slated to grow to about 100 such aircraft by the mid-2020s; other aircraft acquisitions have included US attack helicopters; the Land Force has re-equipped its armored brigade and separate mechanized and artillery battalions with modern tanks, armored vehicles, and self-propelled artillery, mostly with purchases from Germany and Turkey; meanwhile, the Navy over the same period has received four corvettes and four offshore patrol vessels from Italy and Turkey

Qatar hosts the regional headquarters for the US Central Command (CENTCOM; established 1983) and several thousand US military forces at various military facilities, including the large Al Udeid Air Base; it has Major Non-NATO Ally status with the US, a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation; Qatar also hosts Turkish military forces at two bases established in 2014 and 2019 (2023)

NOTE: The information regarding Qatar on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Qatar 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Qatar 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.