According to a British newspaper report, BAE Systems is close to sealing a $808 million deal with Saudi Arabia to sell up to 30 Hawk trainer aircraft.
The deal comes as a welcome relief for the defence giant which is grappling with shrinking defence budgets of Europe and US.
Riyadh is awaiting its order of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets from BAE. The Saudi defence ministry says it needs the Hawks to train the pilots.
Despite the multi-billion dollar order, around 845 jobs at BAE’s Hawk factory in Brough, Yorkshire, will be lost as the company intends to shut down its factory.
BAE is Britain’s biggest manufacturing company, employing around 100,000 around the globe. The weapons company is building two aircraft carriers for the British Royal Navy and is working on the Joint Strike Fighter consortium, the world’s biggest military aircraft programme.
BAE did not comment on the reports of Saudi deal when contacted by Reuters.