Major deals involving the sale of 12 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft to Oman and a combined 30 BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainers to the same nation and Saudi Arabia last year contributed to total UK defence exports worth £8.8 billion ($13.5 billion) in 2012, according to figures released by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
The Royal Air Force of Oman is to be a future Typhoon operator
Representing a 62% increase from the £5.4 billion figure reported from 2011, the total maintained the UK's standing as the second-largest exporter of defence equipment after the USA, with an average 20% stake of the global market during the past decade, says UKTI's Defence and Security Organisation.
Combined with sales of security equipment, the year-end total of £11.5 billion was similar to the volume recorded in 2007, when the UK government agreed a Project Salam deal with Saudi Arabia for 72 Typhoons.
"The Ministry of Defence has continued to play a key supporting role in the promotion of defence equipment and services, recognising that defence exports make a significant contribution to the government's growth agenda," says minister for defence equipment, support and technology Philip Dunne.
UK military equipment on display at the 17-23 June Paris air show included a Hawk T2 from the Royal Air Force's 4 Sqn and an AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat.