Typhoon fighter jet

BAE in talks on Oman Typhoon aircraft deal

BAE systems is in talks with Oman to supply a number of Typhoon fighter aircraft within three years of a signed contract.

Defence giant BAE would build the aircraft at its site in Warton, near Preston in Lancashire, where hundreds of job losses were announced last year under cuts sparked by a slowdown in production.

"BAE Systems welcomes the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the supply and support of Typhoon fighter aircraft for the Royal Air Force of Oman," said a BAE spokesman.

"This news underpins the long-standing defence and security relationship between Oman and the United Kingdom and between the armed forces in Oman and BAE Systems, a major supplier of equipment and services to the Sultanate."

The company said it had mitigated 900 of the compulsory redundancies across Warton and another site at nearby Samlesbury, so out of the 1,408 potential redundancies, around 500 will be compulsory.

However officials said the announcement will not save the jobs, although it will have an impact on the supply chain.

Contractual negotiations are due to begin shortly, with BAE expecting it to involve 12 aircraft, to be delivered within 36 months from contract signature.

BAE is undergoing a review of its UK business to reduce costs in anticipation of future orders and to ensure efficiency and effectiveness so it can compete in growing export markets where there is a commitment to defence procurement.

The review of the warship business has raised fears of job losses at sites including the historic Portsmouth dockyard.

"As part of our business planning activity, we are reviewing how best to retain the capability to deliver and support complex warships in the UK in the future, in line with our commitments under the Terms of Business Agreement signed in 2009," BAE added.

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