The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering selling some of the Eurofighters it has ordered but cannot now afford, a report claims.
According to the Financial Times newspaper the MoD may be forced to sell some or all of its 88 Eurofighters to other countries like Japan, South Africa or India because of its estimated £2 billion budget deficit.
Britain entered into the Eurofighter consortium with Italy, Spain and Germany to seek cheaper fighters and in a previous contract had already ordered 144 of the planes.
Now, a source told the FT, it is investigating whether offloading Eurofighters currently on order is compatible with the consortium's guidelines about the handing over of sensitive information about military hardware.
Britain already has a strong defence relationship with Saudi Arabia, having agreed 72 of the Typhoon jets in a deal penned last September.
But others may be more difficult and agreement with some of the European nations involved is expected to be difficult. Wrangling over whether each country needs to buy the same amount of jets is making the deal fraught.