The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: BAE Wins Tornado Fleet Upgrade Contract
In our December 2005 coverage of the $10 billion Saudi Eurofighter sale, DID counseled caution regarding reports that the aircraft would replace the Saudis’ existing Tornado squadrons. Now British newspapers are reporting that BAE has won a GBP 2.5 billion (about $4.66 billion) contract to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s Tornado fighter aircraft, and that these measures are likely to keep the ground attack (Tornado IDS) and air-defense (Tornado F3) aircraft in service until 2020 or so.
Saudi Arabia currently operates about 120 Tornado aircraft, including both the strike-optimized Tornado IDS (96 aircraft, Scramble places them within 7, 66, 75 & 83 Squadrons at Dhahran on the east coast), and Tornado F3 ADV long-range interceptors (24 planes in 29 Sqadron at Tabuk near Jordan).
dos-06201/”> “Saudi TSP adding Storm Shadow Steath Strike to Tornados” for more.
For further updates, see “Saudi TSP: Tornado Upgrades, incl. Storm Shadow’s Stealth Strike.”