Typhoon agreement with Saudi Arabia

Posted on 29 Mar 2018 and read 650 times
Typhoon agreement with Saudi ArabiaCommenting on “the importance” of the Typhoon agreement with Saudi Arabia, Andy Tuscher — a director of NDI (the EEF’s (www.eef.org.uk) defence experts, offering supply-chain sourcing and development services to businesses of all sizes in the defence, aerospace, space and security sectors) — said: “The recent visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK ended on a high, as the UK Government signed a Memorandum of Intent with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the aim of finalising discussions for the purchase of an additional 48 Typhoons for the Royal Saudi Air Force.

“The two governments, with the support of UK industry, led by BAE Systems, now aim to finalise a contract for the purchase within the coming months. This is great news for the extensive UK-based supply chain.

“This signing comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the Government is working on a National Combat Air Strategy, for publication later this year. Confirmation that Saudi Arabia intends to finalise the long anticipated second order of Typhoons will be extremely welcome in Whitehall, as it ‘works up’ this strategy.

“Its success will depend upon there being sufficient industrial throughput to sustain the key skills employed on the Typhoon programme, while the long-term plan to establish the capabilities the RAF will need from its next generation of fast jets — and the UK industry required to deliver them — is determined.

“If the strategy is, as the Defence Secretary has promised, designed to “bring together the best of British engineering, skill and design, and deliver a compelling vision for the future of air power”, then the success of UK defence-aerospace exports will continue to be critical to sustaining the necessary mass to deliver for the RAF.”

The UK defence-aerospace industry is made up of almost 2,500 companies, employing more than 128,000 people — some 26,000 of them in highly skilled research, design and engineering jobs.

BAE Systems employs around 5,000 people on the Typhoon programme alone.

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