Saudi Arabia will receive 72 Eurofighters in 2009, according to Deputy Minister of Defense and Aviation for Military Affairs Prince Khaled ibn Sultan. The twin-engine plane is in use by the German Luftwaffe and the air forces in Britain, Spain and Italy.
Saudi Arabia agreed last year to pay $8.8 billion for the aircraft, built by a consortium in Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain. A previously signed deal provides for the training of Saudi Arabian pilots and a transfer of technology and investments in the kingdom's defense industry.
The deal is unrelated to the proposal by American President George W. Bush to sell Saudi Arabia $20 billion in advanced weapons. The proposal has met stiff opposition in Congress, where legislators have stated fears that the weapons could be used against Israel or even the United States.