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UK business secretary Vince Cable under fire for Eurofighter contract loss news
13 February 2012

The UK business secretary Vince Cable has come under fire for failing to follow up with the Indian government to save the sale of BAE Systems' Eurofighter jets.

BAE thought it had won a contract for part assembly of the 126 Typhoon jets at Warton and Samlesbury; the Indian government, however, said it planned to go for the cheaper jets from French firm Dassault. The Typhoon jet is a joint initiative of the German and Spanish units of EADS, Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Finmeccanica.

MP Mark Menzies says he has tabled questions to the UK's department of business over its support of the bid, as it is ultimately responsible for exports and Cable should have more to chase the contract.

According to the department for business, ministers had been involved at a number of levels and Cable had been personally involved in discussions with his Indian counterparts and had undertaken two trade missions to help bag the deal.

BAE Systems, which is in the process of laying-off staff and debating the future of warship production at its Portsmouth plant, would likely face further scrutiny this week, following reports that its three top executives would receive bigger bonuses due to a 200-million tax rebate related to spending on research and development.

According to, The Sunday Times, the rebate would boost the company's earnings to share the measure used for calculation of annual bonuses and long-term share rewards  meaning multi-million pound bonuses for chief executive Ian King, US chief Linda Hudson and finance director Peter Lynas, according to the report.

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UK business secretary Vince Cable under fire for Eurofighter contract loss