British defence firm BAE Systems has signed a $3bn contract with Saudi Arabia to supply Hawk trainer jets.

The contract is also expected to include the supply of simulators, ground and training equipment and spare parts. In 2006, Saudi Arabia agreed to buy 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets from BAE Systems for a fee worth at least $10bn.

According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), in 2010, Saudi Arabia was the biggest spender on defence in the GCC. In that year, the kingdom spent an estimated $45bn on defence, equivalent to about 11 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP).