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France wins Saudi defence deal: Report

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A Saudi Arabian navy frigate. A Wikipedia photo

PARIS (AFP): France has won a billion euro defence contract with Saudi Arabia to overhaul four frigates and two refuelling ships, sources said Thursday.

A source close to the matter confirmed a report on the La Tribune website saying negotiations that had dragged on for years were now over.

The upkeep deal involves French weapons and systems makers, Thales, DCNS and MBDA and would overhaul vessels that date back to the 1980s.

None of the companies involved wished to comment, but La Tribune reported that the launch of work could come as early as September and would precede a visit to the kingdom by French President Francois Hollande this autumn.

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