BAE Systems and the Qatari government have concluded a deal for the latter to buy 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets with only the contract signing waiting to be done.
“I would not like to speculate on the exact date it will be signed. ... We have concluded all of our discussions, we have no more negotiations to do with the Qataris, the contract is done. It’s purely down to when there is the right window to have it signed,” Chris Boardman, the managing director of BAE Systems’ military air and information business, told the British Parliament’s Defence Select Committee on Tuesday.
The deal will stretch assembly of the Typhoons at the company’s Warton site till 2024. Currently the order book delivering the jets to Britusg Royal Air Force, Oman and Kuwait is set to end in 2022, Boardman said.
With a dearth of Hawk orders, Boardman said BAE had already started low-level manufacturing work at their own risk on the Gulf state’s jet trainer purchase.
During a visit to the Gulf state on September 17, this year, UK's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah had signed a Statement of Intent concerning Qatar’s proposed purchase of 24 Typhoon aircraft.
BAE will announce that many of the job cuts will affect its Warton plant in Preston, Lancashire, with the company's new chief executive, Charles Woodburn, also "trimming" its workforce at other locations, Sky News had reported in October.
The Warton job cuts are understood to relate largely to a continued slowdown in production of the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft, with on-going uncertainty about the timing of a potentially large order from Saudi Arabia, the news report had stated.