July 11, 2012
Credit: Credit: BAE Systems
Britain’s BAE Systems believes the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has “real and genuine” interest in buying 60 of its Eurofighter Typhoon jets instead of the French Dassault Rafale.
“I think the interest is real and genuine as does the British government and we are working hard to put a package together for 60 planes for the UAE,” BAE Systems’ business development director Alan Garwood told Reuters at the Farnborough Airshow on Tuesday.
“We could tell by the questions they (the UAE government) were asking us that they were serious.”
The UAE was expected to finalise a $10 billion agreement with Dassault last year but the talks faltered after the UAE said the terms were uncompetitive and unworkable.
Garwood said the British government’s improved relationship with Abu Dhabi, the failure of talks with Dassault and recent new business wins for BAE in the Gulf state make it confident it can clinch the deal.
Stealing back the UAE deal would be a coup for BAE’s Eurofighter consortium which earlier this year lost out on a $20 billion deal to sell 126 fighters to India which chose the Dassault Rafale as preferred bidder.
The Eurofighter consortium is made up of BAE, Italy’s Alenia and European aerospace and defence group EADS.
Garwood said BAE would also look to tie up a deal to sell 12 Typhoon jets to Oman by the end of the year.
“We’ll start formal negotiations with Oman towards the end of August I would imagine. The two governments have targeted it for completion this year and we want it done this year as well,” he said.