Oman to Boost Defense Apparatus
Oman is to order 12 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters from the US and 20 Super Lynx helicopters, made by the Anglo-Italian Agusta Westland, in purchases worth several hundred million dollars, reported the Financial Times Saturday.
The F-16 order represents a breakthrough for the US in a market traditionally dominated by Britain and France, said the FT.
The decision was announced unexpectedly by Oman's head of state, Sultan Qaboos Bin Said al-Said, at a review of air force units.
The order is a boost for Lockheed, which needs F-16 orders as it awaits the outcome of a contest with Boeing to build the Joint Strike Fighter. Last year the United Arab Emirates signed a $6.4bn order for 80 advanced F-16s.
The helicopter purchase is significant for Agusta Westland, a joint venture formed this year by GKN of Britain and Finmeccanica of Italy, said the online paper.
The UAE this week also placed a $1bn-plus contract for six fast attack ships from France – Albawaba.com
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