Kuwait, Italy Discuss Military Cooperation

Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)16.07.2015 Kuwait
Kuwait, Italy Discuss Military Cooperation

Kuwait, Italy Discuss Military Cooperation

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Deputy Premier and Defense Minister Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah held talks Wednesday with visiting Italian Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti on several issues of common interest, particularly in the military field.

Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah praised deep-rooted bilateral relations between two countries and stressed the need to boost them, the ministry said in a statement.

The meeting was attended by a number of top Kuwaiti military officials, according to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Early last month, Kuwait has started discussions to buy up to 28 Eurofighters, Defense News reported.

Kuwait is discussing the deal with the Italian Defense Ministry, the Italian Air Force and Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi, which is the Eurofighter partner company that has led the Eurofighter marketing campaign in Kuwait.

Talks started May 31 and representatives of the Italian Defense Ministry, Air Force and Alenia Aermacchi are in Kuwait participating, a source told Defense News.
The talks cover the possible acquisition of two squadrons - or between 24 and 28 aircraft - plus training and logistics, the source added.

Under a military cooperation deal signed between Italy and Kuwait, two groups of Kuwaiti pilots have already trained at the Italian Air Force's training school in Lecce in southern Italy.

The report that Kuwait is talking to Italy follows reports last month that the US government was in discussions with Kuwait to sell up to 40 Boeing F/A-18 E and F Super Hornet strike fighters.

Another source noted that a Kuwaiti deal for Eurofighters would not necessarily affect a potential foreign military sale for the Boeing aircraft.

“There has always been the possibility for a split buy. Talks with the US government about a Super Hornet sale are still moving forward,” the other source said
The Gulf State has been evaluating new fighters for two years.

Apart from the Air Forces of Britain, Italy, Spain, Austria and Germany, Saudi Arabia also operates the Eurofighter, and Oman has placed orders.

Source: KUNA; Defense News; File Photo


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