The project is one of a number of agreements being negotiated by London and Riyadh as part of the estimated $40,000 million defence deal covering the supply and maintenance of 72 Typhoon fighter jets, manufactured by the Eurofighter consortium.

Although the supply and maintenance of the planes, as well as the construction of the required infrastructure, form the core of the deal, Riyadh is seeking to use the project to create jobs and provide training for Saudis. Sources in Riyadh said in mid-May that negotiations for the deal are progressing well and are expected to conclude in June.

Riyadh confirmed in early May that it would go ahead with the purchase of all 72 Typhoon jets, which will be supplied in tranches of 24 and 48 jets (MEED 12:5:06).