The UK and the UAE are in talks on Typhoon combat aircraft , Philip Dunne, UK minister of defence equipment, support and technology told the Gulf News.
“We are in talks now,” said the British minister, without disclosing any further details about the expected deal and the number of aircraft.
Last November, it was expected that the UK and the UAE would sign a Dh36.8 billion ($10 billion) deal according to which the UK would provide the UAE Armed Forces with 40 Typhoon aircraft and a five-year maintenance agreement.
A military specialist said that since the visit of Typhoon manufacturers to the UAE last year, they eyed selling a number of aircraft to the UAE as contracts in the defence industry are long term.
He said: “Mega-deals like this potential Typhoon contract usually come round once every decade or even longer, which is why Britain is keen to secure this one.”
The manufacturers of Typhoon had earlier said that the aircraft meets the real long-erm defence and security needs of the UAE.
The aircraft, manufactured by the European arms consortium Eurofighter, includes the UK’s BAE Systems, Italy’s Finmeccanica and EADS, owned by the governments of Germany and Spain, eyes to sell a number of aircraft to the UAE.
Dunne said that the UK presence in Idex 2013 highlights the important strategic defence relationship between the UK and the UAE.
“Innovation, alliances and joint ventures are key UK themes at Idex 2013. We are taking part with more than 100 companies, demonstrating a range of world-leading defence and security technologies,” said Dunne.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to return to the UAE. Our relationship with the UAE is very important, one we value very highly as the visit last year of our prime minister and the other senior ministers have demonstrated x. We are keen to deepen and broaden our strategic relationship, not only on defence and security but across a range of sectors in support of the UAE’s vision 2020 plan,” he added.
The British minister pointed out the UK is encouraging its companies to continue to drive for alliances, joint ventures and partnerships with companies in the UAE and elsewhere in the region to help realise their ambitions to increase and develop indigenous capability.