Germany Softens Position on Selling Eurofighter Typhoon to Saudi Arabia

Berlin opposes the sale of 40 Eurofighter Typhoons to Turkey from England, but the stance may change
  • bureau
  • 11:03 AM, January 8, 2024
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Germany Softens Position on Selling Eurofighter Typhoon to Saudi Arabia
Eurofighter Typhoon jet operating in sub-zero conditions @Eurofighter Consortium

Germany has reversed its decision on the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet embargo against Saudi Arabia, and could change its mind on selling those jets to Turkey.

Arms sales ban on Saudi Arabia was in place since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made a statement to the reporters on Sunday, expressing readiness to sell more Eurofighter Typhoon warplanes to Saudi Arabia. The initial embargo had affected Riyadh's order for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets from Britain.

The German government faced reactions from Eurofighter Consortium member countries - England, Spain and Italy.

England even unofficially suggested bypassing Germany in the sale, as per reports. Airbus employees in Germany protested, citing concerns that the government's decision jeopardized sales and employment.

The Saudi Arabian Air Force, which currently has 71 Typhoon fighter jets, initiated negotiations with France for Rafale fighter jets in response to the Typhoon embargo.

Meanwhile, Germany maintains opposition to the sale of 40 Eurofighter Typhoons to Turkey from England.

As of now, Eurofighter Typhoon production in Germany is expected to end in 2030 with the delivery of the last Tranche 4 aircraft. There is a ten-year gap without orders for the German military aviation industry until the planned entry-level operational capability declaration of the next-generation SCAF/FCAS fighter in 2040.

Airbus is urging a timely decision on the Eurofighter to prevent job losses and a decline in the aviation industry.

The order of 88 aircraft by Saudi Arabia and Turkey plays a crucial role in filling this production gap. Germany is anticipated to reconsider its stance on Turkey's Typhoon supply.

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