November 17, 2007 / 11:49 AM / 10 years ago

Saudi may order 24 Eurofighter jets

<p>In this file photo two Austrian F-15 fighter jets follow the first Austrian military jet fighter "Eurofighter Typhoon" before its landing on the military airport in the small Styrian village of Zeltweg July 12, 2007. Saudi Arabia could order 24 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets from BAE Systems for about 1.5 billion pounds, the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported on Friday.Leonhard Foeger</p>

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia could order 24 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets from BAE Systems (BAES.L) for about 1.5 billion pounds ($3.06 billion), the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED) reported on Friday.

Saudi Arabia and Britain announced in September a 4.43 billion pound deal for 72 of the Eurofighters.

"The kingdom is set to decommission a number of aircraft and is thinking about a possible order for 24 more Eurofighters," MEED quoted an adviser to the Saudi government, that it did not identify, as saying.

"There is a need for new aircraft given the situation in the region, particularly the issue of Iran," the adviser was quoted as saying.

Saudi Arabia would also consider French fighter Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA), or the upgraded Boeing (BA.N) F-15, but favoured the Eurofighter, the adviser said.

Saudi Arabia and Britain have signed arms deals since the 1960s, including the Al Yamamah arms-for-oil pacts first signed in the 1980s which have produced an estimated 43 billion pounds of business.

Writing by Daliah Merzaban, Editing by Lin Noueihed

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