Published — Saturday 22 December 2012
Last update 21 December 2012 9:48 pm
MUSCAT: British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Oman yesterday as Britain’s defense giant BAE Systems announced a £2.5-billion ($4.1-billion) deal to supply fighter planes and trainer jets to the sultanate.
Cameron met Sultan Qaboos to discuss “ongoing cooperation between both countries in several fields in light of their good relations and the mutual interests of their friendly people,” Oman news agency ONA reported.
On Thursday, the prime minister paid a pre-Christmas visit to British troops serving in Afghanistan.
BAE Systems announced in London that it has sealed a multibillion dollar fighter jets deal with Muscat.
“BAE Systems and the government of the Sultanate of Oman have entered into a contract for the supply of Typhoon and Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft to the Royal Air Force of Oman,” the London-listed company said in a statement.
“The contract, valued at approximately £2.5 billion, provides for the delivery of 12 Typhoon and 8 Hawk aircraft starting in 2017.”
ONA later said that “this deal comes within the framework of Sultan Qaboos’s concern ... in developing the capabilities and potential of the Omani Air Force.”
Oman will become the seventh nation in the world, and only the second in the Middle East to operate the Eurofighter Typhoon.
“We believe that Oman has now added the most advanced fighter jet and proven training aircraft, available in the world, to its military portfolio,” said Guy Griffiths, group managing director for BAE Systems’ international business.