Oman orders 12 Typhoon fighters and 8 Hawk trainers
21 Dec 2012
BAE Systems announced on 21 December, 2012, that it has signed a contract with the Sultanate of Oman for the purchase of 12 Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role aircraft and eight Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers. Deliveries are expected to commence in 2017. The contract includes in-service support by BAE Systems to the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO). According to Flight International, the Oman contract also comprises a provision to include the Euroradar consortium's E-Scan active electronically scanned array radar.
Oman becomes the seventh country in the world, and the second in the Middle East, to operate the Typhoon, joining the air forces of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. The multi-role Typhoons will join the RAFO F-16C/D Block 50 fighter force and replace its fleet of Jaguar fighter aircraft. This will make Oman the first country to operate the Typhoon alongside new Advanced Block F-16 Falcons. The current fleet of 12 F-16C/D will be increased by another 12 jets ordered in December 2011, with six more on option.
Oman becomes the second operator of the Hawk AJT in the region, as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ordered the type in May 2012 to also provide lead-in fighter training (LIFT) for its future Typhoon pilots. The total number of Hawk family aircraft sold, or on order, now stands at 998, BAE Systems reports. The number includes Oman's Hawks delivered in the early 1990s, the RAFO currently operates four BAe Hawk Mk.103 twin-seat trainers (which includes one attrition replacement) and the remaining eleven out of twelve delivered Mk.203 single-seater combat-capable advanced training aircraft. This order of Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers will give Oman a up-to-date Lead-In Fighter Trainer, and is expected to allow the retirement of the four Mk.103 basic jet trainers, while also relieving the APG-66H equipped Hawk Mk.203 single-seater light attack aircraft of their training role.
- BAE Systems, Oman order Typhoon and Hawk aircraft, Press Release 21 December 2012, www.baesystems.com
- Flight International, Oman to obtain 12 Typhoons, eight Hawks, 21 December 2012, www.flightglobal.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
- Defense Industry Daily, Oman’s Air Force Upgrades: From Jaguars to F-16s & Eurofighters, www.defenseindustrydaily.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012.