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Saudi Arabia Eyes Eurofighter Typhoon Acquisition Equipped with ECRS Mk2 Radar

Currently, reports indicate that Saudi Arabia is likely seeking to acquire a variant of the Eurofighter Typhoon equipped with the latest radar known as the European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2, developed by BAE Systems and Leonardo UK.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — In recent years, the German government had vehemently obstructed the sale of Eurofighter Typhoon to Saudi Arabia.

 However, Berlin’s firm stance shifted when France entered the scene, offering the Rafale fighter aircraft to Riyadh with both countries reportedly initiated negotiations for the acquisition of 54 Rafale fighter jets.

A few weeks after reports of the negotiations between Paris and Riyadh surfaced, the German government abandoned its opposition to British efforts to sell more Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.

This decision was disclosed by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock recently.

As quoted by the DPA news agency, she stated that the decision to allow the sale of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia was based on the Arab nation’s assistance in ensuring the security of Israel.

Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon

 

Saudi Arabia is considered a key contributor to Israel’s security, especially after Riyadh’s air defense system intercepted guided missiles and kamikaze drones launched by the Houthi armed group against Israel.

“The German government will not oppose the idea of Britain selling more Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a major contributor to Israel’s security, and the Arab nation also helps prevent the risk of broader conflicts in the region,” said the German Foreign Minister.

Currently, reports indicate that Saudi Arabia is likely seeking to acquire a variant of the Eurofighter Typhoon equipped with the latest radar known as the European Common Radar System (ECRS) Mk2, developed by BAE Systems and Leonardo UK.

The ECRS Mk2, an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, is set to undergo testing this year, further enhancing the Eurofighter Typhoon’s capabilities in airspace control and electronic warfare.

The Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet is built by a consortium of four European countries: Britain, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

 Any sale of these fighter jets requires approval from all four countries.

typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon

 

The proposal to sell 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Riyadh faced challenges in 2018 when the German government suspended the sale of any weapons to Saudi Arabia following the kidnapping and murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

 The arms export transaction also encountered difficulties in 2019 when a British court banned any weapon exports to the Arab country due to its military actions in Yemen.

However, with the ceasefire in Yemen, Britain is now pushing to proceed with the sale of the 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.

 London asserts that Germany no longer has grounds to oppose the sale, especially after the United Nations (UN) brokered a ceasefire agreement between Saudi Arabia and Yemen last year.

Five years ago, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom signed a Memorandum of Intent regarding the Arab nation’s intention to purchase 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to supplement the existing fleet.

However, the realization of this acquisition is still pending, awaiting confirmation of Saudi Arabia’s desire to obtain these fighter jets.

If successfully executed, this acquisition would bring the total number of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets in Saudi Arabia’s possession to 96, as Riyadh already owns 48 of these advanced generation aircraft. — DSA

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