The British government and Bahrain have commenced discussions over a potential order for the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter.
The Bahrain King Hamad al-Khalifa met with British Prime Minister David Cameron last week to discuss regional issues, including Bahrain’s plans for a modernization of its armed forces.
Bahrain is looking forward to replace a squadron of F-5 Tiger jets currently in service along with two squadrons of F-16s, with about 12 or more Typhoon aircrafts.
“We are in discussions on a potential sale of Typhoon with the Bahraini Air Force. These discussions are at a very early stage but we welcome the Bahraini interest,” a spokesman for the British government’s Defence & Security Organisation (DSO) told Defense News, confirming the possible sales discussions.
Eurofighter consortium member BAE Systems is leading the industrial effort to sell the Typhoon in the gulf region. The combat jet has already been purchased by Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain was not among a list of Middle East sales prospects for Typhoon mentioned by BAE Chief Executive Ian King when the company unveiled half-year results Aug 1.
King said an additional order for between 48 and 72 Typhoons was possible in Saudi Arabia along with a potential deal for 60 fighters being negotiated with the United Arab Emirates. Further out, Qatar and Kuwait are also potential buyers in the region.
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) said Bahrain has sought support to maintain the Hawk fleet of Bahrain Air Force. Bahrain's Minister for Transport Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed who also looks after his country's defense matters has conveyed this to HAL Chairman R K Tyagi and other company Directors when he visited HAL Chalet at the on-going Farnborough International Air Show, London, HAL said in a release
Alenia Aermacchi has started the first in a major series of flight tests to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow missile onto Eurofighter Typhoon. Initial flight trials to demonstrate that the missile can be safely carried have been successfully started
The United Arab Emirates has received a formal bid from BAE Systems to build 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jets for the country. The Typhoon is the front-runner followed closely by Dassault with its Rafale jets for the deal which could be valued up to $6 billion
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