News Summary: Saudi Arabia inks trainer plane deal

AP News

5/23/2012 2:11:22 PM - AP News

TRAINING AMID TENSION: Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it has signed a $3 billion deal with the United Kingdom to buy air force training planes, beefing up the Gulf nation's defense capabilities as regional tensions rise.

PLANES AND SIMULATORS: The deal includes 22 Hawk advanced jet trainers made by Britain's BAE Systems PLC. Saudi Arabia will also receive 55 Swiss-made Pilatus PC-21 propeller-driven trainers, as well as simulators, ground equipment, training materials and spare parts as part of the package, according to BAE and the official Saudi Press Agency.

REGIONAL RIVALS: Riyadh is fortifying its military capabilities to counter a perceived threat from regional rivals, particularly Iran.