BAE Systems has resumed Eurofighter Typhoon deliveries to Saudi Arabia, despite the company having yet to conclude long-running price negotiations with Riyadh for part of the 72-aircraft acquisition.
"Discussions continue with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia relating to the formalisation of price escalation on the Salam Typhoon programme," BAE says in an interim management statement issued on 8 May. However, it reveals "aircraft deliveries on the programme re-commenced in April".
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The Royal Saudi Air Force received 24 Typhoons from BAE between 2008 and 2011, including six two-seat trainers, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database. Its remaining 48 aircraft are also to be completed at the company's Warton site in Lancashire, with a contract modification signed in 2012 having enabled final assembly activities to resume. Continuing price discussions are focused on the addition of new capabilities to the service's final 24 examples.
Photographs posted on the internet since early this year have shown several new Typhoon trainers being flown from Warton and operating in UK low-level training areas with Saudi markings and tail registrations including 318, 321 and 322.
BAE declines to comment further on the recent deliveries, but one other source suggests that two new aircraft have been handed over so far.
Elsewhere in its statement, BAE says it has secured fresh orders valued at £2.3 billion ($3.5 billion) from customers outside the UK and the USA so far this calendar year. This included a £600 million contract received in May to provide undisclosed weapons via the Saudi British Defence Co-operation Programme.
The company says it expects modest growth in underlying earnings per share during 2013, despite the potential risks posed by US defence spending cuts and the ongoing Typhoon price discussions with Riyadh.
Source: Flight International