AirMiddle East

Saudi in Talks With Airbus for A330 Tanker, A400M Transport Aircraft

Saudi Arabia and Airbus are negotiating the supply of additional A330 military tanker and A400M transport aircraft to the Saudi Air Force.

The country already operates six A330s fully received in 2015, supporting its air-to-air refueling and troop transport capabilities.

Negotiations are being led by Airbus’ 49 percent-owned joint venture with Saudi Arabian Military Industries, according to a report by The Business Times.

In addition to the aerial refueler, the Kingdom is also reportedly considering acquiring the A400M military transport aircraft.

“We know there is an interest in the A400M, and we will address it with the Saudi Air Force and the Ministry of Defence,” Airbus official Jean-Brice Dumond said on the sidelines of the World Defence Show in Riyadh.

Increased Interest in Aerial Assets

Saudi Arabia is showing more interest in bolstering its aerial capabilities.

In October 2023, the French government said it was negotiating with Riyadh for the potential sale of 54 Rafale fighter jets.

The Kingdom also expressed interest in joining the next-generation fighter jet program with the UK, Italy, and Japan.

It vowed to offer a “significant financial contribution,” in addition to its engineering expertise, which would aid in various phases of the project.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia is now poised to become the latest operator of the Eurofighter after Germany lifted its arms embargo on the Gulf kingdom.

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