BAE Systems has announced a £5bn contract to supply Typhoon aircraft to the Qatari air force.
BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar have entered into a contract, valued at approximately £5bn, for the supply of Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force along with a bespoke support and training package.
The contract is subject to financing conditions and receipt by the Company of first payment, which are expected to be fulfilled no later than mid-2018.
It provides for 24 Typhoon aircraft, with delivery expected to commence in late 2022. About 5,000 people in Britain are employed to build the Typhoon, mainly at Warton in Lancashire.
BAE Systems is the prime contractor for both the provision of the aircraft and the agreed arrangements for the in-service support and initial training.
Charles Woodburn, BAE Systems Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to begin a new chapter in the development of a long-term relationship with the State of Qatar and the Qatar Armed Forces, and we look forward to working alongside our customer as they continue to develop their military capability”.
Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, who oversaw the signing of the deal with his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, said: “The contract will secure work on the production line at Warton into the next decade.”
As reported by the Guardian, he also agreed a package of training and cooperation between the air forces under which they will work together more regularly, including Qatari pilots and ground crew receiving training in the UK.
Qatar is the ninth country to buy the Typhoon, with the first aircraft delivered to Oman this year.
A spokesman for the Unite union said: “The government should follow this news up by signalling its intention to protect highly skilled UK manufacturing jobs by bringing forward an order to replace the Red Arrows’ ageing fleet of Hawk jet, as well as backing the advanced Hawk, which is under development.”