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17 Sep 07. The Government of Saudi Arabia has reached agreement with the UK Government to purchase 72 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. The agreement follows plans outlined in December 2005 to establish a greater partnership in modernising the Saudi Arabian Armed Forces.

This new defence cooperation programme, known as “Project Salam”, builds on a long and successful relationship between the UK and Saudi Arabian Governments and their armed forces. The Governments share key objectives on national security and actions to combat global terrorism. Saudi Arabia continues as an important strategic ally for the United Kingdom in the Middle East, playing a moderating leadership role in promoting regional stability. This agreement will be supported by substantial logistical and training packages, including the opportunity for RAF and Royal Saudi Air Force aircrews and ground technicians to train alongside each other in the UK.

This decision begins a new chapter in defence co-operation between the nations, and reflects the Saudi Arabian Government’s continued confidence in the United Kingdom to provide the military capability needed to meet its defence requirements. The agreement will also support thousands of jobs in both the UK and Saudi Arabia to manufacture and support these aircraft.

Following the Understanding Document signed in 2005, BAE Systems notes the announcement today by the UK Ministry of Defence of the signing of an agreement between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UK Government for the supply of 72 Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia as part of the new defence cooperation programme known as “Project Salam”.

Negotiations relating to the principal terms of the agreement have been successfully concluded and the signed agreement is expected to become effective in due course. BAE Systems welcomes this important milestone in its strategy to continue to develop Saudi Arabia as a key home market with substantial employment and investment in future in-Kingdom industrial capability.

SBAC Chief Executive, Ian Godden, commenting on the announcement said,

“This is a fabulous boost for the aerospace industry and the UK economy. This is one of the largest export orders for a generation and provides a great platform for further orders.”

“The Typhoon is an extremely sophisticated and technologically advanced combat aircraft. Its development and production involves 16,000 highly skilled jobs and more importantly advanced aerospace capabilities that support the UK economy.”

“Investment in the Typhoon programme has led to major technology spillovers including carbon fire technology, super plastic forming and fusion bonding, modular avionics and flight control systems – these are playing a key role in helping to meet environmental challenges in civil aviation, as well as challenges in the automotive industry and across engineering and manufacturing industries.”

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