The first pair of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter set up in Italy by Leonardo on behalf of the emirate of Kuwait has started to perform test flights in Turin-Caselle at the plant. The two two-seater aircraft carry the national insignia of Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiyya al -Kuwaytiyya or Kuwait Air Force and provisional Italian identification codes. Kuwait in 2016 ordered Leonardo as prime contractor to build 28 aircraft of which 22 single-seaters and 6 two-seaters.
These are Tranche 3A aircraft that have all the improvements envisaged by the P3Eb package for the use of advanced air-to-air missiles such as MBDA’s long-range Meteor (BVR) and air-to-ground armament for long-range guided attacks. The Kuwait aircraft are equipped with the CAPTOR-E electronic scanning radar developed by Leonardo, which offers the pilot a wider field of observation, with significant advantages in air-to-air and air-to-ground operations , having a faster air-to-air target detection and tracking speed than the mechanical scan version.
The Kuwait Air Force Eurofighters will be integrated with the Lockheed Martin Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP), a proven electro-optical targeting system housed in a single lightweight pod for precision targeting and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in domains land, sea and air. For the Kuwait Typhoons, the integration of air-to-surface missiles for precision attacks Storm Shadow and Brimstone, both produced by MBDA, is planned. Finally, the configuration selected by Kuwait includes the introduction of a pod for combat training and an advanced navigation aid. The contract signed by Leonardo with the Kuwait Ministry of Defense also provides for the supply of a series of services to better manage the Eurofighter fleet, such as the design and construction of infrastructures at the Al-Salem air base, in Kuwait, and initial support services for three years (with an option for a further five), the latter including the provision of equipment and a range of training aids to establish an Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) for pilots in Kuwait.