Though still the faintest of prospects, Oman is understood to be showing an unexpected ‘glimmer’ of interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon.
At first glance, Typhoon might seem to be ‘too much aeroplane’ for the small Gulf Sultanate, which currently operates one squadron of BAE Hawk 100s and 200s, two squadrons of ageing SEPECAT Jaguars and one squadron of Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 50s.
The Royal Air Force of Oman is believed to have launched a Jaguar replacement programme, however, and might want to maintain its strong links with UK industry and the Royal Air Force.
The long-standing co-operation dates back to the 1960s and has seen British industry supporting the RAFO and the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force (as it was once known) as well as a regular flow of RAF exchange and contract pilots flying Strikemasters, Hunters, Jaguars and other aircraft types.
Now that the RAF has declared the Typhoon fully combat ready in the air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, the aircraft has the multi-role capabilities that the Sultan’s air force has always prized. The aircraft would also give Oman a real boost in air defence capability, fully able to meet any regional threat.