Last updated: 7 August, 2013

Bahrain eyes Eurofighter, says BAE

Bahrain is interested in buying the Eurofighter Typhoon jet, British defence group BAE Systems said on Wednesday.

“Bahrain has expressed an interest in Typhoon and the UK government is leading very early discussions. BAE Systems is supporting the UK government in these discussions,” a BAE Systems spokeswoman said.

Bahrain’s King Hamad held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London on Tuesday.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is made by BAE Systems in a consortium with the European airspace groups EADS and Finmeccanica of Italy.

BAE and Saudi Arabia signed a £4.5-billion (5.2-billion euro, $7.0-billion) deal in 2007 to supply seventy-two Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Riyadh, but the contract has faced obstacles over the cost.

Oman, a Gulf state which like Bahrain has close links to Britain, ordered twelve of the jets last year.

BAE Systems also hopes to sell sixty of the jets to the United Arab Emirates, where it is facing competition from the Rafale jet made by France’s Dassault Aviation.

Bahrain has been rocked by Shiite-led protests since 2011, which has forced its allies such as Britain to review the defence equipment that it exports to the Gulf state.