Eurofighter Typhoon Pips Boeing F/A-18E/F For Kuwait’s Fighter Replacement Program

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:46 AM, January 28, 2016
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Eurofighter Typhoon Pips Boeing F/A-18E/F For Kuwait’s Fighter Replacement Program
Eurofighter Typhoon

Kuwait might a sign a deal to procure 28 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters by next week and will not be waiting for an approval from US for the planned acquisition of F-18 Super Hornets.

“We were trying to acquire the F-18 Super Hornets and replace the existing fleet of F-18s with Super Hornets and Eurofighter Typhoons. However, we cannot wait for the American approval and need to update our Air Force now," DefenseNews news website reported quoting a Senior Kuwaiti military official as saying Wednesday.

“Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti has been invited by Kuwait to attend the signing for 28 Eurofighter aircraft on Sunday in Kuwait,” the official added.

Kuwait signed a MoU to buy 28 Eurofighters in September last year. It was also negotiating buying 28 Boeing F/A-18E/F fighter jets by the end of 2015. The Boeing deal however has been held up by delays in US regulatory process.

Finmeccanica had expected to complete the Eurofighter deal in November. The delay is supposedly because of problems linked to pilot training and dispatching of specialized personnel.

"We have discussed the Eurofighter deal, which was expected to be finalized in Kuwait in December but was delayed due to problems on the pilot training," another official said.

"Our Air Force wanted to send the pilots for training in the United Kingdom, not Italy, due to the language barriers; however the deal was finalized after there was an agreement on sending them to train in Italy," he added.

"The training program is expected not to take less than 18 months," he said.

The Kuwaiti government had asked the parliament in December last year to approve a supplementary budget of 6.2 billion dinars ($20.4 billion) to fund weapons purchases for the military over 10 years.

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