UK says Eurofighter purchase may be its last
PARIS, July 31 |
PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - Britain has no current plans to buy any more Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets after signing a deal worth approximately 3 billion euros for 40 warplanes on Friday, defence procurement minister Quentin Davies said.
Britain is among four European nations that have agreed to buy a further 112 Typhoon aircraft worth 9.1 billion euros, including a 1.4 billion euro engine deal.
The deal is less than half of the 236 aircraft originally anticipated in the third and final phase of Typhoon production, known as tranche 3.
Buyers agreed to split the next production wave into two parts, tranches '3A' and '3B', in a compromise over costs.
But after signing the first of these deals alongside Germany, Italy and Spain in Munich, Davies dampened industry hopes of coming back for the remaining sales in future years. "There is no further commitment," Davies told Reuters.
"This is really tranche three. I don't exclude the possibility that we will buy more aircraft in the future, but there is no present intent, nor any expectation from our partners nor any obligation," he said.
"We have signed for the totality of our available spending, which is now committed."
Britain plans to hold a defence review next year.
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