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undergroundnewsroom.com April 22, 2018


Saudi prince signs £5bn deal for BAE fighter jets

11 March 2018, 01:31 | Damon Campbell

BREAKING: Saudis prep for WAR – Kingdom to buy 50 fighter jets from UK

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with British prime minister Theresa May on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street in London. Leon Neal  Getty Images

Saudi Arabia could be set to acquire a follow-on batch of 48 Eurofighter Typhoons, pending the conclusion of government-to-government discussions with the United Kingdom disclosed on 9 March.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia signed a preliminary deal to buy 48 Typhoon jets from the United Kingdom despite widespread protests against London's arms sales to Riyadh.

"This is a positive step towards agreeing a contract for our valued partner".

As part of its Vision 2030 program, Saudi is modernizing its armed forces.

The Gulf kingdom signed a statement of intent on the final day of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the country.

BAE Systems delivered the last of 72 Eurofighter in June 2017, which included 48 single seat and 24 twin seat variants.

Sky News Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said the deal is expected to be announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and the Crown Prince later this afternoon.

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The crown prince, who is heir to his 82-year-old father, King Salman, said there were "huge opportunities" to boost trade between the two countries and they had to work together to deal with "failed states. terrorist and extremist organisations" in the Middle East.

"If confirmed this shameful deal will be celebrated in the palaces of Riyadh and by the arms companies who will profit from it, but it will mean even greater destruction for the people of Yemen", said Andrew Smith, of the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Although May noted that she would raise humanitarian concerns about Yemen in his meeting with bin Salman, she stressed that all arms sales to Saudi Arabia were strictly regulated.

Meanwhile opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused May's government of "colluding" in war crimes by selling Saudi Arabia military equipment.

The thorny topic was due to be discussed at a private dinner inside May's country residence on Thursday night, but was tempered with gifts: May's office said she presented Prince Mohammed with a family tree showing the descent of the Al Saud dynasty.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the most important combat aircraft in BAE Systems' portfolio, accounting for almost a third of the unit's sales in 2016.

Some 5,000 people are employed by BAE Systems on the Typhoon programme, covering production and support.



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