Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported that Kuwait Air Force received on Tuesday the first batch of two Eurofighter Typhoons from Italy’s Leonardo Group, the manufacturer of the world’s most advanced new generation swing-role combat aircraft. The two aircraft of “the Kuwaiti Eurofighter Typhoon squadron,” will arrive in Kuwait next week, Air Vice-Marshal Staff Al-Mezyen told KUNA on the sidelines of the ceremony.
The handing-over ceremony, held at Caselle airbase in Turin province, north Italy, gathered, Ambassador to Italy Sheikh Azzam Al-Sabah and Deputy Commander of the Air Force Air Vice-Marshal Staff Bandar Al-Mezyen and other military top brass from Kuwait, as well as Marco Zoff – the Managing Director of the Aircraft Division at Leonardo, and Herman Claesen – the CEO of Eurofighter.
On 11 September 2015, Eurofighter confirmed that an agreement had been reached to supply Kuwait with 28 aircraft.On 1 March 2016, the Kuwaiti National Assembly approved the procurement of 22 single-seat and six twin-seat Typhoons. On 5 April 2016, Kuwait signed a contract with Leonardo valued at €7.957 billion ($9.062 billion) for the supply of the 28 aircraft, all to tranche 3 standard.
The Kuwaiti aircraft will be the first Typhoons to receive the Captor-E AESA radar, with two instrumented production aircraft from the UK and Germany currently undergoing ground-based integration trials. The Typhoons will be fitted with Leonardo’s Praetorian defensive aids suite and PIRATE infrared search and track system.
The contract involves the production of aircraft in Italy and covers logistics, operational support and the training of flight crews and ground personnel. It also encompasses infrastructure work at the Ali Al Salem Air Base, where the Typhoons will be based.
“Today, we not only deliver the latest and most advanced Eurofighter aircraft that have ever flown, but we also provide a complete technical support service for the Kuwaiti Air Force, and a real total system, meaning that we do not provide just aircraft, but rather advanced services and ground to create an integrated system for the development of Kuwait’s defence capabilities, which is considered the true purpose and true spirit of the partnership,” said Marco Zoff, Managing Director of Leonardo’s Aircraft division.
“This great strategic achievement. It opens wide horizons for the defense partnership with Italy. Italy’s great role in supporting peace, security and stability in the Arabian Gulf region and in the world at large. This achievement falls in the framework of decades of cooperation and solidarity between both countries in the face of common risks since the Kuwait liberation war,” said Ambassador Sheikh Azzam.