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Monday, April 2, 2018

Kuwait Orders F/A-18

Kuwait has placed an order for F/A-18E/F fighter jets.

On March 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded Boeing a $1.2 billion contract for the production of 28 F/A-18 fighter jets for Kuwait. The contract press release noted, "In addition, this contract provides for long-lead radar warning receivers and aircraft armament equipment."

Similar to Kuwait's Eurofighter Typhoon buy, the order is for 22 single seat jets (F/A-18E) and six two seat jets (F/A-18F).

Kuwait was first approved for the F/A-18 purchase in November 2016. The State Department approved the sale of 40 F/A-18s (32 Es and eight Fs), at an estimated cost of $10.1 billion. Included in that approval were the various onboard systems and armaments to equip the aircraft.

The State Department noted at the time, "Kuwait will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft will supplement and eventually replace the Kuwait Air Force's aging fighter aircraft."

Kuwaiti officials suggested soon after that approval that country would ultimately move forward with a purchase of 28 jets. State-owned KUNA cited Maj. Gen. Lafi al-Azmi as giving that number later in November 2016. He estimated that, all told, the deal would not be more than $5 billion.

The major general added, "Given Kuwait’s proximity to turbulent locations, we certainly need effective military equipment."

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