$30 Billion Gulf Fighter Deal In Works
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) formally notified the U.S. Congress of the long-proposed sale of the F-18s to Kuwait and F-15s to Qatar last Friday. The deal was long considered politically controversial and was held up for months on end due to the countless objections from not only Israel but also some American strategists. Officially US government has already informally advised legislators on Capitol Hill that they would be cleared in late September. An ancillary effect of the sale is the continuation of the production of both fighter types at the St. Louis Boeing facility which is expected to be extended into the next decade. Qatar specifically requested all 72 Strike Eagles in a variant designated F-15QA as opposed to 36 plus 36 options as previously reported. The estimated value of the sale to Boeing along with its 11 key subcontractors is around $21 billion. Reports of the fighter deal is denied by officials from both Boeing and Qatar to be linked in any way to the recent purchases of 737, 777, 787 airliners valued at $18 billion by Qatar Airways. The F-15SA sale includes training by simulators, lead-in fighter pilot training, maintenance/ground support, and the proposed sale of 32 F-18E single-seat, eight F-18F twin-seat Super Hornet fighters is supposedly worth over $10 billion. 20 years ago the Kuwait Air Force received 32 F-18C and eight F-18D Hornets which remain the fastest jets in the KAF inventory although they will be replaced by the Super Hornets and Kuwait confirmed a contract for 28 Euro-fighters last April reportedly worth $9 billion.
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