The first Eurofighter Typhoon and BAE Systems Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) for Oman were presented to senior officials from the Sultanate and the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) at Warton airfield in the UK on May 15. Oman ordered 12 Typhoons and eight Hawk AJTs in December 2012, for delivery from this year. The order was unofficially reported to be worth about £2.5 billion.
“BAE Systems has a long and proud history of working in Oman, which has been built over more than half a century. Today’s event represents a further strengthening of that special relationship,” said Chris Boardman, managing director of BAE Systems Military Air & Information. Until the RAFO ordered F-16s in 2002, the UK had been the almost exclusive supplier of military aircraft to the Sultanate, along with substantial training and support.
The Typhoons will be replacing Jaguar strike aircraft that have been in service for nearly 40 years. They will be delivered in the Tranche 3 multirole configuration. BAE Systems is managing the construction of a new airbase in Oman at Adam, in Oman, which will house the RAFO Typhoon fleet.
These aircraft for Oman could be the last Typhoons and Hawks to be completed and flown at Warton, unless new orders are gained. Only two of the 72 Typhoons ordered by Saudi Arabia remain to be delivered, and 17 of the first batch of 22 Hawk AJTs ordered by the Saudis have also now been delivered. The Saudis have ordered a second batch of 22 Hawk AJTs, but their final assembly will be in the Kingdom, BAE revealed recently.
Production of 160 Typhoons for the UK Royal Air Force is nearly over, with only 12 yet to fly. Many of the latest jets to be completed for the RAF have gone into storage, either at Warton or two RAF airbases.