Typhoon jet agreement, strategic partnership wrap up Saudi crown prince’s visit to UK

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson at North Holt Air Base. (SPA)
Updated 03 April 2018
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Typhoon jet agreement, strategic partnership wrap up Saudi crown prince’s visit to UK

  • Under preliminary deal, BAE Systems will make 48 Eurofighter Typhoon jets for KSA
  • Royal Saudi Air Force already has 72 Typhoon fighter jets in service
LONDON: Britain has signed a multi-billion-pound preliminary order with Saudi Arabia for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, military equipment maker BAE Systems said on Friday.
The joint statement issued at the end of the three-day visit, and published by the Saudi Press agency, indicated that both parties signed a letter of intent to supply Saudi Arabia with 48 new Typhoon fighter jets.
BAE Systems added in a statement sent to Arab News that the order would help Riyadh modernize its armed forces under the Kingdom’s ‘Vision 2030’ economic plan, while no financial details were given.
If confirmed the order will raise Saudi capabilities in the air and add 48 to the already 72 Typhoons in service with the Royal Saudi Airforce.
“The crown prince’s visit has opened a new chapter in our two countries’ historic relationship,” British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said. “We have taken a vital step toward finalizing another order for Typhoon jets that will increase security in the Middle East and boost British industry and jobs in our unrivalled aerospace sector,” he said.
The defense secretary was speaking after meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the third day of his visit. The two sides met at Northolt Air Base in north west London.
Upon arrival, Typhoon aircrafts soared in the skies to welcome the crown prince, who is also deputy prime minister and minister of defense.
Both national anthems were played and then they reviewed the Honor Guards’ Salute.
During the meeting, the pair discussed ways to develop bilateral relations and areas of strategic cooperation between the two countries, especially in the defense and military sectors.
They also discussed the wide-ranging opportunities in Saudi Arabia following the introduction of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, as well as international and regional developments and efforts to combat terrorism and extremism.
Prior to his departure, the UK and Saudi  Arabia published a joint communique summarizing the agreements, understandings, and memorandum signed in the military, defense, economic, social and cultural sectors.
Mainly the statement stressed that the two Kingdoms are strategic partners in seeing through Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi Vision 2030. The two sides committed to launching an annual strategic partnership council and dialogue between the two countries.
“The crown prince’s visit has opened a new chapter in our two countries’ historic relationship,” Williamson said.


A jubilant Saudi Arabia celebrates its past, present … and future

Updated 24 September 2018
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A jubilant Saudi Arabia celebrates its past, present … and future

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said National Day is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the country’s founder
  • Saudi Arabia’s friends around the world outdid themselves in expressing their wishes to the Kingdom

RIYADH/JEDDAH/DUBAI:  It was a day that captured the heightened spirit of a nation.

In a year of remarkable changes, Saudi National Day on Sunday took on an exuberance like no other celebration before it, with enough fireworks to break a world record, people celebrating together outdoors across the land and landmarks around the world illuminated with the flag. 

In a speech marking the Kingdom’s 88th National Day, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman praised the nation’s growth under King Salman, saying that while Vision 2030 “looks forward to the future,” Saudi Arabia “will remain committed to the principles” of Islam, “the religion of tolerance and moderation.”

The crown prince said National Day is an opportunity to recall the achievements of the country’s founder, King Abdul Aziz, and his sons. “On our National Day, we take pride in our country’s position on an international, Islamic and Arab level.” 

His sentiments were echoed by citizens, who gathered last night in 20 cities to watch more than 900,000 fireworks light up the sky.

Laser light show at a Jeddah stadium Sunday night as part of National Day celebrations. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

“I am so happy with all the changes going on under the visionary leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi women are happy to join the National Day parades, this year behind the wheel,” said Saudi actor and presenter Khairiah Abu Laban.

“We went around the city to see the lighting and the fireworks,” said Saleh Al-Omri, a pharmacist in Riyadh. “Green and white balloons fill either side of Riyadh streets.”

Saudi Arabia’s friends around the world outdid themselves in expressing their wishes to the Kingdom over the weekend, culminating on the day. 

The Burj Khalifa was illuminated with the Saudi flag, while the Nasdaq Tower’s digital billboard in New York’s Times Square was lit up with photos of King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the flags of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

In Lebanon, Pigeon Rocks, in Raouché off the coast of Beirut, were lit in the colors of the Saudi flag. 

The UAE’s airlines got in on the game. Emirates operated a special one-off A380 service on Sunday to Riyadh, and crew handed out scarves emblazoned with the countries’ flags.

Not to be outdone, Etihad said it was using the only Saudi A380 pilot in the world, Wesam Sameer Al-Najjar, to fly its Year of Zayed plane to Jeddah with the UAE’s Captain Ahmed Almalood. 

And if all that wasn’t enough, King Salman added an extra day, Monday, to the holiday.

Air show by the Saudi Royal Air Force in Jeddah in celebration of National Day. (SPA)