Russian optimism on arms exports to Saudi Arabia is energised by icier relations between Riyadh and Washington.
Britain signs Saudi Eurofighter order
Britain has signed a multi-billion-pound preliminary order from Saudi Arabia for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, military equipment maker BAE Systems said on Friday.
The lucrative deal was unveiled on the third and final day of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to Britain.
BAE Systems added in a statement that the order would help Riyadh modernise its armed forces under the kingdom's 'Vision 2030' economic plan, while no financial details were given.
Eurofighter was developed by a European consortium that also comprises Italy's Finmeccanica and Franco-German civilian planemaker Airbus.
"The UK Government has signed a Memorandum of Intent with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to aim to finalise discussions for the purchase of 48 Typhoon Aircraft," BAE Systems said in a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange.
'This is a positive step towards agreeing a contract for our valued partner. We are committed to supporting the Kingdom as it modernises the Saudi Armed Forces and develops key industrial capabilities critical to the delivery of Vision 2030.'
The news comes after Qatar inked a deal late last year to buy 24 Typhoon jets for some $8.0 billion.
Friday's blockbuster announcement follows long-running discussions with Saudi Arabia, which already has a total of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon planes in its fleet.
The news also comes just two weeks after BAE posted sliding annual net profits -- but forecast improving defence budgets across its major markets.
Late last year, however, BAE said it planned to axe 2,000 jobs, and had partky blamed weaker demand for Hawk and Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.
In reaction, BAE's share price jumped 2.24 percent to 602.20 pence in late afternoon deals on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index, which traded 0.2 percent higher.
The deal confirmation followed intense speculation over the large aircraft order, which has been under discussion for many years according to media reports.
Welcome to Episode 14 of the third series of The Weekly Defence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more. Sign up to an early email alert ...
The developer of a Russian pulse detonation engine demonstrator claims that initial tests show an improvement in specific thrust compared to conventional engines.
The reactivated V Corps reflects a focus in the US National Defense Strategy on forward deployment to counter adversaries and improve readiness in the event of a conflict with a near-peer rival power.
Countering peacekeeping threats by investing in new capabilities should be central to long-term Irish defence ambitions, a source says.
Completion of the Integrated Baseline Review puts the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent on track for IOC by 2029, says lead contractor Northrop Grumman.