Airbus Military has sold five C295 tactical transports and three C295 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) to the Royal Air Force of Oman. The contract was signed on May 21 after negotiations that had originally been expected to conclude late last year. Oman is Airbus Military’s first customer for the C295 among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It is buying the type to expand its tactical transport capability and to improve significantly its maritime capabilities in a region dogged by piracy, smuggling and illegal immigration.
The ambitious development plan to expand Oman’s Muscat Airport has been accelerated with the Oman Airport Management Co. advancing the opening date to October 2014. The project had run into delays after tropical cyclone Gonu in 2007, which led to the decision to remove basements and underground areas, resulting in a complete redesign.
European manufacturers of major defense equipment face a struggle to secure new contracts in the Middle East against American competition, as evidenced by the latest Saudi arms deal. The huge F-15 deal probably ends Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) interest in a second batch of Eurofighters.
An order for two Grob SPn jets to newly formed Abu Dhabi-based operator Prestige Jet, announced here yesterday, marks a breakthrough into the growing Middle East market by the Zurich-based manufacturer.
Raytheon Systems has sold two radars to HungaroControl, the Hungarian air navigation services provider, and four to the Sultanate of Oman. The first contract, worth $10.6 million, consists of an ASR-23SS L-band primary surveillance radar and a Condor European mode-S monopulse secondary surveillance radar. These systems will replace the older ones in Kõrishegy and Püspökladány.
Oman-based regional aircraft spares supplier Dahra Logistics & Marketing is planning to open an office in Dubai next March to tap into the fast-growing aviation market here in the United Arab Emirates. “Already, new airlines such as Air Arabia and Etihad are growing fast,” observed Dahra’s CEO, Khamis Obaid Mubarak Al-Ajmi.