BAE Systems finalises deal to sell Typhoon jets to Qatar

A Eurofighter Typhoon EF2000 fighter jet from the Spanish Air Force makes a high speed pass during an international aerial and naval military exhibition commemorating the centennial of the Spanish Naval Aviation, over a beach near the naval airbase in Rota, southern Spain, September 16, 2017. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

LONDON (Reuters) - British defence contractor BAE Systems BAES.L said that a 5 billion pound contract to sell 24 Typhoon fighter jets to Qatar became effective on Tuesday after conditions were met, giving it its first payment from the deal.

The sale to the Middle Eastern country includes the supply of nine Hawk trainer aircraft and a provision of in-service support and initial training, with the first jets due to be delivered in 2022.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a joint project between BAE, France's Airbus AIR.PA and Italy's Leonardo LDOF.MI. BAE is the prime contractor on the Qatar deal.

Qatar’s purchase was supported by a 5 billion pound package of financing and insurance support provided by UK Export Finance, the UK government said in a statement.

In March, BAE also agreed to finalise talks with Qatar’s regional rival Saudi Arabia on a multi-billion pound order for 48 Typhoon aircraft.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison