David Cameron is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the start of a three-day trade visit to the Middle East aimed at securing major UK arms deals with states in the region.
The prime minister is aiming to build a “reinvigorated partnership” with middle eastern leaders and to secure billions of pounds worth of military deals.
In the UAE, Mr Cameron will personally spearhead a push to persuade the country to buy 60 of BAE’s Typhoon jets in a deal that could be worth more than £3bn. He will fly first to a military airbase near Dubai, where a number of RAF Typhoons are stationed, to promote the aircraft to military and political figures from the UAE.
He will also hold talks with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the prime minister of UAE on the potential for joint work on the next generation of military aerospace equipment.
Tomorrow he heads to Saudi Arabia, the UK’s biggest trading partner in the region, which is also considering adding to its fleet of aircraft.
Including an expected deal with Oman, the government hopes to secure deals to sell 100 Typhoon jets (pictured, right) to the region over the next year in deals worth around £6bn.
“We want to work together with the Gulf countries towards a future that is rich in prosperity, strong in defence and open in its handling and pursuit of political and economic reform,” Downing Street said ahead of the visit.
The deals follow the failed merger between BAE and EADS, which was blocked by the German government.