UK moves closer to signing Typhoon jet deal with Saudi

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)

Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, has moved towards completing an order worth billions of pounds from Saudi Arabia for the purchase of 48 Typhoon fighter jets.

The joint statement issued at the end of the three-day visit, and published by the Saudi Press agency, indicated that both parties signed a letter of intent to supply Saudi Arabia with 48 new Typhoon fighter jets.

BAE Systems added in a statement that the order would help Riyadh modernize its armed forces under the Kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ economic plan, while no financial details were given.

If confirmed, the order will raise Saudi capabilities in the air and add 48 to the already 72 Typhoons in service with the Royal Saudi Air force.

“The crown prince’s visit has opened a new chapter in our two countries’ historic relationship,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said. “We have taken a vital step toward finalizing another order for Typhoon jets that will increase security in the Middle East and boost British industry and jobs in our unrivalled aerospace sector,” he said.

The UK and Saudi  Arabia published a joint communique summarising the agreements, understandings, and memorandum signed in the military, defense, economic, social and cultural sectors.

Mainly the statement stressed that the two Kingdoms are strategic partners in seeing through Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030. The two sides committed to launching an annual strategic partnership council and dialogue between the two countries.

Source Credit: Arab News