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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Friday, December 15, 2017

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Qatar set to buy 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets from U.K.

Qatar reached a deal with the U.K

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DOHA, Qatar - Qatar reached a deal with the U.K. to strengthen its defense partnership with the country, providing it with outside military support months after it became a regional outcast.

The deal was signed in the Qatari capital of Doha, between the Persian Gulf state’s Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah and his U.K. counterpart Michael Fallon.

As part of the deal, Qatar will buy 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets from the U.K.

The deal marks the first major defense contract between the two countries and Fallon said in a government statement that it will form “the basis for even closer defense cooperation.”

He added that the deal will provide a chance to “enhance security within the region across all Gulf allies.” 

The deal was welcomed by London-based BAE Systems Plc, a Eurofighter partner which is seeking enough orders to generate profit from the model.

The Saudi military is the biggest export customer outside the Eurofighter partners countries for the Typhoon and BAE is delivering the final planes of a 72-jet order and already seeking a follow-up deal.

However, in June, Qatar’s defense alliances with fellow GCC countries in the region was shattered after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates ended diplomatic and trade ties in mid-2017 over the country’s links to Iran. 

In his statement, Fallon said that his government recognized that “the security of the GCC, of all Gulf countries, is critical to the U.K.’s own security.” 

He added that the government hopes the Qatari deal will enable member states’ Typhoon fleets to operate together.

The Eurofighter consortium currently includes Rome-based Leonardo SpA, and the German and Spanish divisions of Toulouse, France-based Airbus SE.

BNN

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