France, Saudi in 2.5 bln euro arms deal: report

PARIS - France and Saudi Arabia are poised to sign a 2.5 billion euros ($3.21 billion) arms deal for 40 helicopters and at least two Airbus A330-200 refuelling aircraft, La Tribune newspaper reported on Tuesday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 5 Sep 2006, 1:13 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:16 PM

The initial order - finalised on Sunday during talks in Riyadh between French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Saudi government officials - would comprise 30 Fennec multi-purpose military helicopters and 10 marine versions of the NH-90 transport helicopter, the newspaper said.

Both helicopters are made by Eurocopter, a division of European aerospace group EADS. EADS also owns 80 percent of Airbus.

La Tribune said the deal could be followed in 2007 by a further 4 billion euros order for 42 more NH-90 and other helicopters and ground-to-air missiles, while talks on a possible later sale of tanks, submarines, frigates and Rafale fighter aircraft were continuing.

A French defence ministry spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

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