Britain secures £10bn contract from Saudis for Eurofighter

Britain's aerospace industry received a massive boost yesterday after the Government announced a deal worth an estimated £10bn to supply Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia.

The biggest beneficiary of the huge arms deal will be BAE Systems, which has a 37 per cent stake in the pan-European consortium that makes the Eurofighter. Other companies who will gain include Rolls-Royce, part of the Eurojet consortium which makes the plane's engines, Smiths Group and Dowty. BAE shares rose 6 per cent to 370p.

The Saudi deal will help safeguard tens of thousands of jobs in the UK defence industry but it is also likely to heighten tension in the Middle East, where the Kingdom's neighbours are fearful of its military prowess.

The Saudis are understood to have ordered a total of 72 Eurofighters to replace older aircraft, including Tornado jets bought in the 1980s and 1990s from BAE under the Al Yamamah arms-for-oil deal.

The Eurofighter order in effect amounts to the third phase of the Al Yamamah programme, and marks the first time the aircraft has been bought by any country outside Europe. The air forces of Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain are buying a total of 620 Eurofighters, with the RAF requirement standing at 232 aircraft alone. In addition to the aircraft, worth about £4bn, the deal includes a full package of training, through life support, spares and technology transfer, which will at least double the value of the deal and perhaps increase its value by 150 per cent.

As with earlier phases of the Al Yamamah deal, the Saudis will pay in oil. This is then traded on the international markets and the proceeds remitted to the Ministry of Defence, which in turn pays BAE and the other UK contractors.

The MoD said the details of the latest agreement with the Saudis were confidential, saying it was "intended to establish a greater partnership in modernising the Saudi Arabian armed forces and developing close service-to-service contacts, especially through joint training and exercises".

The statement also said the partnership recognised the key objectives the UK and Saudi governments shared with regard to combatting terrorism and highlighted the "wise leadership role" played by the Saudis in promoting regional stability.

Britain has supplied 120 Tornado jets to the Saudis along with Hawk and PC-9 trainer jets. The programme has been worth an estimated £20bn since it began in 1985.

The Saudi air force has 106 Tornados in service along with just over 160 American F-15 fighters and 93 F5-E aircraft.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Sales Team Leader - Wakefield, West Yorkshire

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged b...

Ashdown Group: Head of Client Services - City of London, Old Street

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders