Saudi To Buy 72 Eurofighters for $58 Billion: Report

May 23rd, 2006  

Topic: Saudi To Buy 72 Eurofighters for $58 Billion: Report

Britain will sign a deal with Saudi Arabia before the end of July to supply the kingdom with 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets in a deal worth far less than the expected price tag of 31 billion pounds (45.5 billion euros, $57.9 billion), a report said May 22.
”This is a good deal for Britain, but it is also an exceptionally good deal for Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source was quoted as saying by London’s free business daily City A.M.
Britain’s Ministry of Defense had announced in December that the country was to supply Saudi Arabia with Typhoon jets, but did not disclose either the number of planes or cost of the deal.
But the figure of 31 billion pounds has been widely quoted in the media here.
According to City A.M. senior Saudi sources said the deal for 72 Typhoons, plus maintenance, spares, weapons and training until 2030, would be finalized before July 25.
The Typhoon Eurofighter, which is largely manufactured by defense and aerospace giant BAE Systems in partnership with other European countries, will replace the Tornado warplanes supplied to the Saudis in another massive and controversial deal two decades ago.
In December, Britain and Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at establishing a greater partnership in modernizing the Saudi armed forces and developing close service-to-service contacts, especially through joint training and exercises.
BAE Systems signed a series of defense contracts with Saudi Arabia covering purchases and maintenance in the 1980s and 1990s, which are being probed by anti-corruption investigators.