Britain is negotiating a military deal with the United Arab Emirates and if successful, will sell the Arab nation 60 new fighter jets. The two countries have already concluded an agreement that includes a range of defense and bilateral partnerships.
British Prime Minister David Cameron met Tuesday with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and other top Saudi officials in Jedda, where he was awarded the 'King Abdul Aziz Medal' by the monarch at the Royal Palace following a two-day visit to the UAE.
"We will work together to... deepen our defense ties by continuing the development of our joint plans for the security of the UAE and wider Gulf region; increasing our joint exercises and training; and by investing in the British military presence in the UAE,” the UK said in a statement.
In addition, the two nations agreed to “establish a defense industrial partnership that involves close collaboration around Typhoon and a number of new technologies,” the SPA state news agency in the UAE reported.
The contract for the Typhoon war planes that is on the table with manufacturer BAE systems is “extremely encouraging,” a British defense source said Wednesday.
The UK is hoping that Cameron's three-day tour of the region will end in the sale of more than 100 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to regional Arab nations, costing a total of $9.6 billion.
Thus far, a political agreement with the UAE has already been worked out, according to a British source. "Clearly there are still details to be worked out, but it is extremely encouraging,” said the official, who declined to be identified.