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First Kuwaiti-configured Eurofighter makes maiden flight

The first Eurofighter combat aircraft configured for Kuwait made its maiden flight towards the end of 2019, the company announced.

An artist’s impression of the Eurofighter in Kuwaiti markings. The first aircraft built to this country’s configuration made its maiden flight in late 2019. (Leonardo)

An artist’s impression of the Eurofighter in Kuwaiti markings. The first aircraft built to this country’s configuration made its maiden flight in late 2019. (Leonardo)

Instrumented Series Production Aircraft (ISPA 6), equipped with the Kuwait Air Force configuration, departed the Flight Test Centre of Leonardo Aircraft Division in Turin-Caselle on 23 December 2019, Eurofighter tweeted on 9 January.

As noted by Eurofighter, ISPA 6 is the most advanced iteration of the aircraft to date, and while other elements have previously been flight tested, this is the first time that all of the enhancements have been brought together.

ISPA 6 is the first to fly the Captor E-Scan Radar with Phase Enhancement 3 b (P3Eb), for which Kuwait is to be the launch customer. Other enhancements for Kuwait include the Lockheed Martin Sniper advanced targeting pod, the introduction of the DRS-Cubic ACMI P5 combat training pod and an enhanced Very High Frequency (VHF) Omni-Directional Range (VOR) navigation aid. The Kuwait Air Force will also have the option to employ the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile, MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile, and the MBDA Brimstone low-yield air-to-surface missile.

Kuwait signed for 28 Tranche 3 Eurofighters (22 single- and 6 twin-seat) in April 2016, with Italy’s Leonardo serving as the lead contractor for the procurement. The first aircraft is on schedule to be delivered to the country later in 2020.

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