Bahrain’s interest in acquiring the Eurofighter Typhoon appears to be building further, with UK defence secretary Philip Hammond having met with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah at the Dubai air show to discuss the potential deal.
“We continue to have very fruitful discussions with Bahrain about Typhoon, and we very much hope that Bahrain will decide soon to join the Typhoon family,” Hammond told journalists after their meeting on 17 November. “I think those discussions are very positive, and I look forward to a good outcome in due course.”
The King of Bahrain met UK prime minister David Cameron earlier this year to discuss a possible purchase of the Typhoon as a replacement for its air force’s Northrop F-5 fighters. The UK government and national Eurofighter partner company BAE Systems are leading a campaign to sell the type to the Gulf Cooperation Council member.
A potential opportunity to conclude a deal could come as soon as mid-January, when the Bahrain international air show will take place.
Asked about the UK’s willingness to do business with Bahrain, following its measures to quell political opposition within its borders, Hammond says: “This is nothing to do with the internal situation. Jet aircraft are about the external defence of the country, and allowing Bahrain to contribute to the defence of the GCC countries collectively.”