BAE Systems has secured a deal for 12 Typhoon Tranche 3 fighters and eight Hawk advanced jet trainer aircraft, with deliveries to start in 2017.

Oman will be the seventh air force to operate the Typhoon, says BAE. Other operators are the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia.

The Oman contract comprises a provision to include the Euroradar consortium's E-Scan active electronically scanned array radar.

The Oman deal is not unexpected. In its half-year results statement on 2 August, the UK company said contract negotiations with Oman for 12 Typhoons were underway, with a contract possible by the end of 2012.

The sale caps a challenging year for Typhoon. In January, the Typhoon was all but eliminated from India's 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft acquisition when New Delhi selected the Dassault Rafale for final contract negotiations.

In addition, price continues to be the key hurdle in BAE's bid to sell 72 Eurofighter Typhoons to Saudi Arabia, according to a negotiations update from BAE on 20 December.

The so-called Salam deal, contracted in 2007, has so far delivered 24 aircraft. BAE says further aircraft are being built at its facility in Warton, UK for delivery in 2013, and that outstanding issues relate to price rather than timing. The original contract prices were based on 2005 economic conditions, but a re-pricing of the 12-year contract for aircraft, support, maintenance, upgrades and training has been under discussion for two years.

The Typhoon is also in contention against the Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle and Lockheed Martin F-35 in South Korea's F-X III competition for 60 aircraft.

As for the Hawk, the Oman deal takes the total number sold or on order to 998, says BAE.

Source: Flight International