The Eurofighter consortium comes to DSEI having just landed an agreement from Kuwait to proceed with the acquisition of 28 Typhoon multi-role fighters, following a meeting in Rome between the Italian and Kuwaiti prime ministers. Italy has led the Kuwaiti campaign on behalf of the four-nation Eurofighter consortium (Airbus Defence and Space in Germany and Spain, Alenia Aermacchi in Italy and BAE Systems in the UK). The deal would be handled as a government-to-government transaction.
Reports suggest that Kuwait is seeking 22 single-seat aircraft and six two-seaters. If the deal is concluded the aircraft are most likely to be newly built Tranche 3 machines, and could be the first export aircraft with the active ‘e-scan’ radar currently under development.
Any deal would also likely include weaponry, and a training and support package.
Although the deal has yet to be finalised, Kuwait’s selection of Typhoon is a welcome boost to the Eurofighter consortium in the advanced fighter marketplace, particularly in the Middle East. In February this year the rival Dassault Rafale secured an order for Egypt, followed in April by a contract from Qatar. In the Middle East, Typhoon is already in service with Saudi Arabia and has been ordered by Oman. Eurofighter is hopeful of securing a follow-on Saudi order, and also has hopes for a sale to Bahrain.
In Kuwait the Typhoon has competed primarily against Rafale and the Boeing Super Hornet. It is possible that Kuwait may opt for a split buy, acquiring F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as a replacement for its current force of F/A-18C/Ds, in addition to the Typhoons.