Kuwait to Receive Last Batch of 13 Eurofighter Jets Within 18 Months

07.03.2024 Asia
Kuwait to Receive Last Batch of 13 Eurofighter Jets Within 18 Months

Kuwait to Receive Last Batch of 13 Eurofighter Jets Within 18 Months

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Kuwait will receive 13 more Eurofighter jets from Italy over the next 18 months out of the 28 aircraft under the ‘Eurofighter Kuwait’ program, said Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto, who arrived in Kuwait on an official visit on Tuesday, leading a high-ranking delegation, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

In an exclusive interview with Kuwait Times, the visiting Italian Minister spoke about a wide range of topics and elaborated on the growing bilateral cooperation between Kuwait and Italy, particularly in the field of defense.

Crosetto said the close cooperation between Italy and Kuwait is an extraordinary example of how bilateral relations can evolve positively over time, embracing a wide range of sectors.

“Our cooperation, that has been ongoing for over 60 years, has seen significant developments in crucial areas such as defense. Strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially in the context of defense, is a fundamental pillar to guarantee peace and regional stability, while offering mutual investment opportunities and boosting our economies,” he pointed out.

The Minister said the Defense Ministries of Kuwait and Italy are working to renew the recently expired Memorandum of Intent on Cooperation on Defense Matters. “Cooperation between our two countries is an example of how nations can work together to tackle common challenges and promote sustainable development. In this respect, Kuwait played a crucial role in the fight against terrorism and Daesh, offering valuable support at both the regional and international level, while further strengthening the bond between our two nations,” he remarked.

Crosetto highlighted the deep cooperation in the defense sector between Italy and Kuwait. “It is underscored, in particular, but not only, by the ‘Eurofighter Kuwait’ program, a pillar of our bilateral cooperation, presently at a very advanced stage of implementation,” he said. Fifteen of the 28 fighter jets have already been delivered and the rest will be delivered over the next 18 months, he said.

“The Eurofighter program is part of a deeper, broader cooperation between our air forces, including operational activities and basic and advanced training for pilots and maintenance operators, besides supporting aircraft operational capabilities. The Italian air force will ensure basic training for the engineers and technicians supporting the Kuwaiti Typhoon fleet,” he stressed.

Crosetto said the Italian industry contributed to building the Eurofighter Town at Salem Al-Sabah Air Base during the aircraft acquisition stage. “Moreover, we have offered Kuwaiti air force pilots the opportunity to attend training courses at the International Flight Training School in Italy. Currently, the school hosts pilots from Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Kingdom,” he stated.

The project is part of a far-reaching initiative that sees the Italian defense ministry engaged in foreign and defense industrial policy operation, involving its industrial and administrative system and Italian aerospace company Leonardo.

Speaking about the establishment of a Flight Academy to train Kuwaiti Air Force Pilots, the Minister said it is a project aimed to develop state-of-the-art competence, knowhow and technical capabilities. The objective of the initiative is the establishment of a center of excellence for military flight training that will enhance professional standards and contribute to regional security by sharing knowledge and best practices, he said.

Crosetto said there are other interesting, promising sectors of cooperation for Italy and Kuwait besides the Eurofighter program. “I refer in particular to the maritime sector, which recently has come to the forefront, especially in this region. Italy is ready to provide its expertise together with our industrial sector to help keep Kuwait abreast of current and future challenges.”

“Like every year, starting from 2005, last May our defense staffs met to define the 2023-2024 Cooperation Plan, which provided for 25 joint activities to be developed by the end of the year,” he stated. (KUNA; Kuwait Times; Photo© Kuwait Ministry of Defense/KUNA: Chief of the General Staff of the Kuwait Army Major General Bander Al-Muzain Receives Italian Minister of Defense)



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