DESO, BAE Face Scrutiny over Al-Yamamah

 - August 14, 2007, 11:30 AM

The future of the Defence Export Services Organisation is under review by the new UK government. The agency promotes British arms sales abroad, and has administered the ongoing but controversial Al-Yamamah contracts through which the UK sold the Royal Saudi Air Force 120 Tornado combat jets, 50 Hawk and 50 PC-9 trainers, all supplied and supported by BAE Systems. At Paris, we reported that BAE might face a formal investigation by the US government into allegations of corruption surrounding Al-Yamamah. In late June, BAE admitted that the U.S. Department of Justice had indeed launched a probe. However, this has not affected BAE's $4.5 billion acquisition of Armor Systems, which was cleared by the U.S. authorities last month.