The Eurofighter Consortium welcomed on Friday the State of Kuwait as a new member of the Eurofighter community.
Al Defaiya learned that Kuwait has agreed to purchase 28 Typhoon combat jets from the Italian government in a deal worth billions of Euro.
The deal, which has not yet been finalized, calls for Kuwait to buy 22 single-seat and six twin-seat Typhoons in a government-to-government agreement, industry sources in the region said Friday.
According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, the order was estimated to be worth between seven and eight billion Euros ($8.9 billion).
If the deal goes through as planned, Kuwait would be the first foreign customer to acquire the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar being developed for the Typhoon jet by Italy's Selex ES.
Kuwait had been expected to opt for Boeing’s Super Hornet F18s. The deal represents a setback for U.S. rival Boeing. It follows reports in May that Kuwait was in talks with the United States to buy as many as 40 Boeing F/A-18 fighters. The status of those negotiations is unknown. But a US source said there is a chance for a split buy from Kuwait, while talks on a Super Hornet sale to Kuwait are moving forward
This new international success for Eurofighter follows an order from the Sultanate of Oman for 12 aircraft in December 2012 and it is a further evidence of growing interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon across the globe and in the Gulf Region in particular with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman who have already ordered this combat aircraft.
On behalf of the consortium and its Eurofighter Partner Companies (EPC) the CEO of Eurofighter, Alberto Gutierrez, said: “This new agreement is the confirmation of the superiority of the Eurofighter over its competitors and will provide a great opportunity for further Eurofighter orders. We are delighted to welcome Kuwait as the newest member of our Eurofighter Typhoon family. The Eurofighter is already proven and trusted by six nations to perform in all operational environments.”
With Kuwait, the Eurofighter Typhoon confirms its role as Europe’s largest military collaborative program with a total of 599 aircraft committed. It provides leading-edge technologies and strengthens Europe’s defense industry in international competition. More than 100,000 jobs in 400 supplier companies are involved in this four-nation program and deliver significant contributions.
Since entry into service of the first Eurofighter Typhoon at the end of 2003, 444 aircraft have been delivered to six nations: Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In December 2012, Oman became the seventh customer and ordered a total of twelve aircraft. Eurofighter Typhoon is currently in service at 22 operational units and up to now, the whole fleet has completed more than 300,000 flying hours worldwide.
Eurofighter is a partnership between Italy’s Finmeccanica, Britain’s BAE Systems and civilian plane maker Airbus.