Anticipated Kuwaiti Signing of Deal for Eurofighters Delayed
Kuwait’s much anticipated contract to acquire 28 Eurofighter aircrafts was supposed to be signed by Kuwait on January 31, 2016 but it didn’t take place as planned and as announced by the Italian Ministry of Defense the contract has been put on hold.
Initially scheduled to be inked by the end of 2015, signing of the contract was later pushed forward due to Kuwait insisting that pilot training be included in the contract. Last week, sources in Kuwait and Italy informed news outlets that the long-awaited contract, which was originally agreed on in September, 2015 was scheduled to be signed by Italian Minister of Defense, Roberta Pinotti and Kuwaiti Minister of Defense Khaled al-Jarrah al-Sabah. However, the signing of the contract never took place and according to a source in Rome it was held back again due to “internal procedural problems” in Kuwait. A new date for the signing hasn’t been set yet.
Meanwhile, Kuwait has also been in talks with Boeing regarding the acquisition of Super Hornet aircrafts most likely meant to replace the F/A-18C/D “legacy” versions of the Hornet currently operated by the Kuwaiti military. Despite the setbacks in the signing of the Eurofighter contract Kuwait will most likely proceed with the Boeing contract. As stated by Jeff Kohler, Vice President of International Sales for Boeing Defense, Space and Security, Kuwait will probably proceed with both deals and utilize both types of aircrafts in its fleet.
According to sources close to the deal a contract for missiles related to the aircrafts contract is expected to be signed as well, however this contract will be signed separately. Kuwait apparently has specific requirements for missiles meant to be used against fast offshore boats and even though such specific missiles don’t come standard on Eurofighter aircrafts, Kuwait would like to use the Eurofighter aircrafts in a maritime role.
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