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Internal Auditor

In: Social Issues

Submitted By choym
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Economic Phenomena

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1. Summary of Valuation

A balancing act

Sep 15th 2009
From the Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire

Oman preserves friendly ties with both Iran and the West

The Omani ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al-Said, was the first head of state to visit Iran after the controversial re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June. His discussions included a proposal for Iran to pump gas to the Gulf Arab state, some of which could be exported using Oman's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. At the same time, Oman is one of the longest-standing and most reliable allies of the West in the Middle East, and it is said to be close to finalising a major order to upgrade its air force with Eurofighter Typhoons.
Reports have resurfaced in the press that Oman is in discussions with the British government over the purchase of 24 Typhoon jets, with talk of an agreement being finalised within the next few months. Speculation about a possible deal has been rife for almost a year, but a report in a recent edition of the Gulf States Newsletter suggests that negotiations could be close to a conclusion. The Eurofighter Typhoon is built by a consortium of European aerospace manufacturers, including the UK's BAE Systems.
The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) needs to complete the replacement programme for its ageing Jaguar aircraft fleet, which was first introduced in the late 1970s. There are 16 British-supplied Jaguars still in operation following the replacement of a squadron of Jaguars with F-16 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin, a US defence contractor, in 2005 and 2006. The prospective Typhoon deal is reported to be worth over US$2bn. If agreement is reached, it would be extremely timely for the British government and the UK's Royal Air Force. The purchase by Oman would help subsidise the UK's order for 89 more advanced Tranche 3 Typhoons, which the...

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