A BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer sits on a runway. BAE announced a $2.5 billion training deal, which includes Hawk jets, with Saudi Arabia. (BAE)
LONDON — Saudi Arabia has awarded BAE Systems a 1.6 billion pound ($2.5 billion) deal to supply Hawk jet trainers, Pilatus PC-21 turboprop and other training devices, the British company announced on May 23.
The centerpiece of the deal is the provision of 22 BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers starting in 2016 and the supply of 55 PC-21 machines built by the Swiss manufacturer Pilatus. Deliveries of the advanced turboprop trainer are scheduled to commence in 2014.
The training package also includes 25 primary trainers, although no selection has yet been made. A BAE spokesman said the company was still in discussions with the Saudi Arabia about the purchase of an aircraft at a later date.
In a statement, BAE said the package will also include the provision of aircraft simulators and other training devices.
It is unclear if the simulator and other training device requirements are under contract.
Montreal-based CAE is a preferred partner for Hawk simulators and has supplied the most recent full-mission systems used to train the British Royal Air Force pilots at the Valley air base in Wales.
The aircraft deal has been signed under the umbrella of the Saudi British Defence Cooperation Program, which has seen Typhoon fast jets and other aircraft and equipment supplied by the U.K. and others in a series of multibillion-pound deals stretching back more than two decades.
BAE was responsible for supplying an earlier version of the Hawk and the PC-9 trainer to the Royal Saudi Air Force in 1985 as part of the government-to-government cooperation program. Those orders were subsequently topped up in 1993.
The deal will see BAE set up a new home for the production and assembly of the new Hawk trainers at its Warton site in northeast England.
The company has previously built the Hawk trainer at its facility in Brough in East Yorkshire. The manufacturing part of that site recently closed down, leaving open the question of where future Hawk sales would be built.
BAE said the deal for the Hawk would sustain about 250 jobs at Warton and Samlesbury, the nearby site where much of the structures’ manufacture will take place.