BAE Systems, the aerospace giant, received a much-needed boost yesterday after agreeing a £2.5bn contract with Oman for Typhoon and Hawk military aircraft that will safeguard 6,000 jobs.
Two days after issuing a profits warning on the back of ongoing delays with a key contract with Saudi Arabia, BAE said it had struck a deal to supply 12 Typhoon and eight Hawk training aircraft, with first delivery expected to be made in 2017.
David Cameron hailed the deal, which came about two months after BAE's £30bn merger with EADS fell through, saying it would help BAE to maintain 6,000 jobs in Yorkshire and Lancashire. "Boosting exports is vital for economic growth and that's why I'm doing all I can to promote British business in the fastest-growing markets so they can thrive in the global race," the Prime Minister said. "Every country in the world has a right to self-defence and I'm determined to put Britain's first-class defence industry at the forefront of this market, supporting 300,000 jobs across the country."
BAE warned on Wednesday that about 7.5 per cent could be wiped off its profits this year as long-running negotiations to finalise a £4.5bn deal to supply 72 Typhoon aircraft look set to drag into next year.