Controversial deal with Saudi Arabia catapults Britain to top of last year's world arms export league
Contributed by Blog reader
Rob Evans and Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian, Saturday June 21, 2008
"A controversial deal with Saudi Arabia catapulted Britain to the top of the world arms export league last year, as UK firms won a record £10bn in orders from overseas, official figures show.
The figure amounts to a third of all worldwide export orders for military equipment, ministers and arms companies reported. An essentially political, government-to-government contract - the sale of 72 Eurofighter/Typhoon aircraft, for £4.4bn, to the Saudis - accounted for Britain's number one position, the figures make clear......
The companies involved - chiefly BAE Systems and the VT Group - were praised by the trade minister, Digby Jones.
"As demonstrated by this outstanding export performance, the UK has a first-class defence industry, with some of the world's most technologically sophisticated companies," he said......."
Watch Saudi Prince Bandar, chief figure involved in the bribery scandal, defending Saudi corruption:
Bandar: We Are Corrupt; So What!