BAE boss says UAE talks will not be revived

Suzie Neuwirth
BAE SYSTEMS chief Ian King yesterday confirmed that collapsed talks to sell its Eurofighter Typhoon jets to the UAE would not be revived, but insisted the deal’s failure would not impact its ability to sell to other nations.

King told reporters at a London event that the defence giant’s aircraft “met the UAE’s very exacting capability requirements” but the Gulf government had pulled out of the £6bn deal after concluding that it could not be met within its budget and time scale.

King also said that the UK had just extended its own Typhoon aircraft contract for another year, to the value of £104m.

“Fairly intense discussions” are ongoing over the pricing of jets already sold to Saudi Arabia, while a $1.6bn (£1bn) deal to supply F16 jets to South Korea should come into effect early this year, King said. In the US – BAE System’s largest market, where it recently hired a new regional head – new guidance on budgets should give BAE clarity on what programmes will be going forward, King added.

The FTSE 100-quoted company is pushing forward with expansion of its cyber-security arm, which it is rebranding from Detica to BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, to make the name more recognisable abroad. The division currently makes up around six per cent of the group’s revenue but is eyeing “significant double-digit growth”. Sales are equally divided between civil and government contracts.

Shares closed down 0.8 per cent.