2005 News Story

Saudi Ministry of Defense denies existence of secret talks with UK over fighter planes

The Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation today has denied reports that secret talks were held between the Saudi and British officials to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon fighter planes from Britain at a reported cost of GBP 40 billion [U.S.$ 71 billion].

The source at the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation made it clear that no secret talks between the two countries had taken place.  The source added, however, that Britain has expressed its desire to provide Saudi Arabia with Eurofighter Typhoons, and this offer has come “in line with other offers presented by a number of friendly countries.”  The source added that Saudi Arabia has “neither asked for nor received any official or unofficial offer from Britain in this matter.”

The official reaffirmed the Kingdom’s right to enhance its defensive capabilities through the development of its military systems or by obtaining new systems from any country in the world, and added that any arms deal will be decided solely on the basis of the Kingdom’s operational requirements and not on the basis of any political deals.