The UK Government has signed a Memorandum of Intent with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to aim to finalise discussions for the purchase of 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft, BAE Systems said in a statement.
The statement added that the new development is a positive step towards agreeing a contract for the company’s valued partner. It added that the company is committed to supporting the Kingdom as it modernises the Saudi Armed Forces and develops key industrial capabilities critical to the delivery of Vision 2030.
Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter designed and manufactured by Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH consortium. The consortium includes Alenia Aermacchi (Leonardo since 2017), Airbus Group, and BAE Systems.
The first prototype of the finalised Eurofighter made its first flight on 27 March 1994.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, designed to be a supremely effective dogfighter in combat. Later production aircraft have been increasingly better equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment, including Storm Shadow and the RAF’s Brimstone missiles.
The Typhoon had its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground-strike missions.
The Typhoon entered operational service in 2003 and is operated by the air forces of Austria, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Saudi Arabia. The air forces of Oman and Kuwait are export customers, bringing the procurement total to 599 aircraft as of 2016.