Saudi Arabia Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman is understood to have signed a memorandum of intent to procure 48 Typhoon fighter jets from UK-based firm BAE Systems.

According to UK-based media reports, the final terms of the contract, part of an estimated £10bn ($13.8bn) defence deal between the two countries, still have to be negotiated.

It will be the second contract for BAE systems to supply the kingdom with the Typhoon jets, following a previous contract in 2007 for the supply of 72 units of the aircraft to the Saudi defence air force.

In February, Saudi Arabia appointed a new defence chief of staff and promoted seven generals as part of the kingdom’s ongoing government reshuffle.

Fyyadh bin Hamid bin Ragad al-Ruwaili has been named as the new Defence Ministry chief of staff, replacing Abdulrahman bin Saleh Abdullah al-Bunyan.

Al-Ruwaili was once the commander of the Saudi Royal Air Force and most recently was the Defence Ministry’s deputy chief of staff.

A subsequent royal order named Al-Bunyan as consultant at the Royal Court with a rank of general staff.

Other generals who were promoted include Land Forces Commander Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulazi al-Saud, who has been named commander of the joint forces; Mutlaq bin Salem bin Mutlaq al-Ezaime, deputy chief of staff; Jarallah bin Mohammed bin Jarallah al-Elwait, commander of the strategic missiles forces; Fahd bin Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Mitair, commander of land forces; Mazyad bin Sulaiman bin Mazyad al-Amro, commander of air defence forces; and Turki bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, commander of air forces.

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