Export of Eurofighters Typhoon to Saudi Arabia soon authorized by Germany

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Through the voice of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Annalena Baerbock, Berlin said it was ready to lift the embargo on the sale of Eurofighter fighters Typhoon, on the occasion of his visit to Israel on January 7. Buried the Jamal Khashoggi affair, for the German authorities it is a question of promoting the “positive role” played by Riyadh in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. This announcement paves the way for the execution of the option for 48 Eurofighter fighters Typhoon lifted in 2018 for the Saudi air forces, and blocked since then by Germany.

Following the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the indictment of the kingdom's intelligence services in this sordid affair, Berlin had always refused to deliver the necessary parts and portions of devices to the construction of 48 Eurofighter fighters Typhoon ordered by Riyadh a few months earlier, by lifting the option attached to the order of the first 72 aircraft delivered between 2009 and 2016.

But, while export opportunities tend to be reduced for the European fighter, particularly in the face of competition from the American F-35 and the Rafale French, and that the national orders of the 4 members of the Eurofighter Consortium (Germany, Spain, Italy and Great Britain), this option has taken on, in recent months, a critical dimension to make it possible to maintain the assembly line of the aircraft , beyond 2028.

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Euro Fighter Typhoon Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Air Force ordered 72 Eurofighter Block IIs in 2009.

From then on, Berlin's partners, led by London and Madrid, increased pressure on Berlin to get Germany to soften its positions on this issue. It would seem that the Saudi posture in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the October 7 attack has provided the German authorities with the perfect opportunity to respond favorably to the demands of its European partners.

Towards the execution of the contractual option for 48 Eurofighters Typhoon additional by Saudi Arabia

Indeed, while visiting Israel, the German Foreign Minister announced that her country would no longer oppose the sale of European fighters to Riyadh, precisely to respond to the conciliatory and measured position of the Saudi authorities in the context of this conflict.

This is, in a way, an unexpected opportunity to allow Berlin to change its posture. Indeed, a step back, pure and simple, on this issue, would certainly have been interpreted, by German public opinion, as a sign of weakness on the international scene.

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There, on the other hand, it is a question of changing the perception of regional geopolitics, and the Germanic response, in a perfect example of the doctrine of German Real Politick, which will surely be much better accepted by the Germans themselves. same.

Typhoon Spain
With the Alcyon I and II programs, Spain has ordered 43 new Eurofighters Typhoon the last two years.

The door having been officially opened by Annalena Baerbock, there is now no longer any obstacle, apart from validation by the Bundestag, for Eurofighter to accept the Saudi option, and the sale of the 48 aircraft concerned, the contractual and technical provisions having been negotiated for a long time between the two parties.

A decision eagerly awaited by Eurofighter and its industrial partners

This will be a huge relief for the Eurofighter consortium, and for its major players such as the British BAe, the Italian Leonardo and the German-leaning European Airbus DS, who saw the 2028 deadline approaching with concern and the exhaustion of orders from its members, in this case, the German and Spanish orders, which will be the last.

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Indeed, these manufacturers, all involved in the two major European new generation fighter programs FCAS (Germany and Spain) and GCAP (Great Britain and Italy), were particularly worried about the period spanning between the end of the production line Typhoon, and the start of industrial construction of the NGF (FCAS) and Tempest (GCAP), probably between 2033 and 2036, depending on the programs.


LOGO meta defense 70 Fighter aircraft | Defense News | Germany

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