£5bn Qatar deal with extra Hawk jets gives a lift to Fylde aircraft makers

The Hawk trainer is sued by airforces around the world to prepare pilots for flying the latest combat aircraft
The Hawk trainer is sued by airforces around the world to prepare pilots for flying the latest combat aircraft

BAE Systems has confirmed it has concluded financing conditions on its £5bn Typhoon and Hawk deal with Qatar.

It means the major deal is now effective, potentially securing jobs for thousands of workers at BAe Systems’ sites in Warton and Samlesbury.

The contract signed in December 2017 between BAE Systems and the Government of the State of Qatar for the supply of 24 Typhoon aircraft to the Qatar Emiri Air Force – along with a bespoke support and training package –was subject to financing conditions and receipt by the company of first payment.

The contract was amended in June to include the supply of nine Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft along with an initial support package.

These conditions have now been met, and the contract valued at approximately £5bn has become effective with receipt of the first payment on September 18.

Delveries of the first Typhoon and Hawk aircraft are expected to commence in 2022.

BAE Systems is the prime contractor for both the provision of the aircraft and the agreed arrangements for the in-service support and initial training

Charles Woodburn, chief executive at BAE Systems, said: “This contract, effective today, represents a significant step in BAE Systems’ long-term relationship with the State of Qatar, as it becomes the ninth country to choose Typhoon.

“The proven combination of Typhoon and Hawk will provide the Qatari Armed Forces with the most advanced and flexible multi-role combat aircraft on the market today, along with best in class support and training.

“Securing this major export contract with the ninth customer of Typhoon is excellent news; it’s a strong endorsement of Typhoon’s leading position as the most capable and flexible swing-role fighter in service today.

“The supply of both Typhoon and Hawk together with comprehensive training and support underlines the strength of our offer in combat Air, as well as our market-leading credentials in working collaboratively with our customers.”

He said the agreement was important for the sustainability of high value manufacturing and engineering jobs in the U.K., in particular in the north west of England.

He added that the company has around 5,000 UK employees manufacturing and supporting Typhoon aircraft in the UK, as well as many hundreds of companies in the supply chain.

"Securing this contract enables us to safeguard Typhoon production well into the next decade."