Bahrain in talks over Eurofighter deal
London, August 7, 2013
British defence firm BAE Systems said Bahrain was in talks about the possibility of buying an unspecified number of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.
The Eurofighter combat jet is made by BAE Systems and Italian weapons maker Finmeccanica, and EADS, representative of Germany and Spain, with each taking responsibility for particular campaigns.
"Bahrain has expressed an interest in Typhoon and the British government are leading very early discussions; BAE Systems is supporting the government in these discussions," a BAE Systems spokeswoman said.
The Eurofighter consortium is targeting exports as European governments slash defence budgets and has so far sold jets to Austria, Saudi Arabia and Oman outside the core four countries.
It is also vying for orders in South Korea, Kuwait, Qatar, Bulgaria and Denmark. The Eurofighter's main competitors include Lockheed Martin's F-35 jet, Dassualt Aviation's Rafale fighter and the Gripen by Sweden's Saab .
Earlier on Wednesday, Bahrain's national news agency reported that Bahrain's His Majesty King Hamad, who is currently in the UK, had told British Prime Minister David Cameron that the Gulf state was interested in buying Eurofighter jets to "create a cohesive defence system between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)" nations.
This could be good news for the Eurofighter consortium's attempts to secure a deal for the jet with the UAE, which was expected to finalise a $10 billion agreement for France's Dassault Rafale fighter last year before talks faltered, giving the group hope of stealing the deal. - Reuters