Saudi Arabia Commits to Eurofighter
21 Dec 2005
On Monday 21 December 2005, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom government signed an agreement for the acquisition at least 24 Eurofighter Typhoons to replace the Royal Saudi Air Force's current fleet of Panavia Tornado ADV air defence fighters.
The multi-billion pound order will be part of a third phase of the Al Yamamah arms agreement, which previously covered the delivery and support of the Tornado ADV and IDS, BAE Systems Hawk, Pilatus PC-9, and other equipment.
The 24 Typhoons will be drawn from the UK production run of 89 Tranche 2 Eurofighters. The UK MoD stressed that the RAF will receive additional Tranche 2 airframes, and that the deal with Saudi Arabia will have no impact on its commitment to sign a Tranche 3 deal to take the UK's total Typhoon purchase to 232 aircraft.
The agreement also covers technology transfer from BAE Systems to further develop Saudi national aerospace industry. Meanwhile BAE is promoting its extensive upgrade for the RSAF current fleet of Tornado IDS aircraft.
- Flight International