Britain to finalise Typhoon plane order talks with Saudi | Article [AMP] | Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain agreed on Friday to finalise talks with Saudi Arabia on a multi-billion pound order for 48 Typhoon aircraft, the fighter plane's maker BAE Systems (BAES.L) said.

BAE, Europe's biggest defence contractor, has long awaited a major Saudi order for Typhoons, and slowed production in 2016 to ensure it would remain competitive.

The memorandum of intent was signed after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with British defence minister Gavin Williamson.

BAE Chief Executive Charles Woodburn said it was a positive step towards agreeing a contract with a valued partner.

"We are committed to supporting the Kingdom as it modernises the Saudi Armed Forces and develops key industrial capabilities critical to the delivery of Vision 2030," he said, referring to Saudi Arabia's economic and social reform programme.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the most important combat aircraft in BAE Systems' portfolio, accounting for nearly a third of the unit's sales in 2016.

It is a joint project between BAE, France's Airbus and Italy's Leonardo, and supports an estimated 40,000 jobs in Bri....

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