BAE seals major Oman deal

BAE Systems secured a deal over Christmas to see 20 aircraft supplied to Oman, which will be worth £2.5bn.
The aerospace sector in Lancashire has received a major New Year boost with BAE Systems sealing a £2.5bn contract with Oman for Typhoon and Hawk military aircraft. The deal comes as the firm looks to target growth markets such as the Middle East. The Oman order is good news for workers at BAE's Warton and Samlesbury operations, where the bulk of the work will take place. The contract is for the delivery of 12 Typhoon and eight Hawk training aircraft from 2017 onwards.

The aircraft will be partly assembled at the company’s Samlesbury site and will help to sustain 6,000 high technology and engineering jobs across the county. Manufacture will begin in 2014 with delivery expected in 2017.

A BAE Systems spokesman said: “There remains great interest in Typhoon and Hawk and we continue to pursue further orders.”

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the news, saying: “Boosting exports is vital for economic growth and that's why I'm doing all I can to promote British business in the fastest-growing markets so they can thrive in the global race.

“It's testament to Britain's leading aerospace industry and the deal will safeguard thousands of jobs across the UK, not just at the BAE Systems factories in Lancashire and East Riding in Yorkshire, but at many more small businesses up and down the country that play a vital role in delivering these aircraft.” The Omani ministry of defence becomes the seventh operator of Eurofighter Typhoon combat fighter and the third export customer, after Saudi Arabia and Austria.