The Defence Group BAE Systems’ shares have experienced an increase in price recently as a reaction to news of an export sale of the company’s Typhoon jet fighters. The company has agreed a deal that will see the sale of 24 jets as well as a training and support package to the Gulf nation of Qatar.
The deal was announced over the weekend and will throw a much needed lifeline to BAE’s programme which are building the Hawk training jet, which is the aircraft flown by the Red Arrows. The sale of the jets to Qatar is a £5 billion transaction and is a great outcome for the Typhoon programme investors, BAE, Airbus and the Italian company Leonardo. These three companies all have a one third share in the programme that manufactures the Typhoon plane.
BAE have been experiencing some difficulty recently, as their Hawk training jet production line has been running out of orders. The purchase of the jest by Qatar has also included an agreement for weapons manufacturer MBDA, which is also jointly owned by BAE, Airbus and Leonardo. The weapons deal covers Brimstone and Meteor missiles. The weapons deal on top of the jets, training and support package is thought to have a combined value of £6 million according to the figures that have been released as a part of a joint UK and Qatar announcement.
It is thought that the sale of these jets to Qatar will help to support thousands of British jobs in the aerospace manufacturing industry. The new sale will also help to develop a business relationship between the UK and the State of Qatar as well as the Qatar Armed Forces. The Chief Executive of BAE Systems, Charles Woodburn, has said that they are looking forward to working alongside their new customer while they work to develop their military capability.