Qatar is making a considerable effort to modernize sections of its military, including expanding its fighter fleet.
In 2019, 9the country ranked 106 out of 137 countries included in the annual GFP review. That year, the number of people who reached military age was estimated at 11,861 personnel, while military expenditure was estimated at $1.9 billion.In 2006, an analysis by the American think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) stated that the Qatari armed forces are capable of basic and low intensity missions like anti-smuggling and counter-terrorist operations. They are, however, ‘incapable of engaging any significant Iranian, Saudi, or other regional land force’.
The Qatari Army has 8,500 personnel, which is only a fraction of the size of other Gulf armies. The majority of the Qatari forces are based at the North Camp and Barzan Camp military areas.
In 2006, the armed forces’ structure consisted of a tank battalion, four mechanized infantry battalions, a Special Forces company, a field artillery regiment, a mortar battalion, an anti-tank battalion, and a Royal Guard regiment divided into three sub-units.
According to CSIS, the Air Force structure has not changed much since 1990 on the eve of the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.
There have been small changes however, like the doubling of the number of transport aircraft to 53. The Air Force’s small air units are reported to have ‘low to moderate readiness, with reasonable to good pilot training for basic missions’.
The Air Force relies on foreign support for most ground activities.
The Qatari Navy has increased its manpower from 700 in 1990 to 1,800 in 2006, including a marine police force and coastal defence artillery. CSIS: ‘Like the other services, the Qatari Navy benefits from US basing on Qatari soil, and implicit US security guarantees.’