Saudi Arabia declared on Monday it had signed a 4.43 billion pound (US$8.86 billion) deal to purchase 72 Eurofighter planes. "The two governments on Tuesday (September 11) signed the contract for the acquisition of (72) planes for a cost of 4.43 billion pounds," a defense ministry spokesman told the state news agency SPA.
According to him, the deal follows an August 2006 accord in principle and "a memorandum of understanding between the London and Riyadh governments to modernise the Saudi armed forces as part of their close defence ties".
The memorandum, signed late 2005, also provides for "a transfer of technology, investment in Saudi military industry and aviation training for Saudis", the spokesman said. Saudi Arabia is purchasing the aircraft at the same price they are sold to Britain's Royal Air Force, he added.
The Times newspaper reported earlier this month that BAE Systems was inclined to clinch the deal to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to the Saudi kingdom.