Earlier this year, some details of the latest phase of the Yamamah offset programme between Saudi Arabia and the UK became public. One such detail is the revelation that some of the Eurofighter Typhoons acquired by Saudi will be assembled in Saudi Arabia.
My hunch is that the first tranche of planes will arrive finished, and the later batches will be built locally. This would give enough time for the building of necessary facilities and the recruitment and training of staff.
Now I'm thinking, what will be next when Eurofighter production ends? Do you think Saudi can participate in the production of future civilian aircraft? Maybe not work with Boeing or Airbus, but how about corporate jet assembly with Bombardier or Embraer? The middle east is a very big market for corporate jets and I'm sure Saudi (or shall I say SAIC) would be more than willing to become a risk sharing partner in any new corporate jet development.
So what do you think? Would it be realistic to see Saudi built civilian aircraft, or is this just a pipe dream by me?
Your comments and views much appreciated