The Kuwait Air Force has recently bolstered its defense capabilities with the receipt of four additional Tranche 3Eurofighter Typhoons as part of the ongoing Eurofighter Kuwait program. This significant milestone reflects the successful collaboration between the Italian Air Force and the Kuwait Air Force (KAF), which was initiated in 2016. The $8.8 billion contract signed between Kuwait and Leonardo has seen the delivery of 13 out of the 28 Typhoons initially ordered, with operations, pilot training, and comprehensive support forming an integral part of this partnership. This development signifies a pivotal moment in Kuwait’s journey towards enhancing its national security and defense readiness. Kuwait’s acquisition of Tranche 3 Typhoons aligns with its strategic objective to fortify its defense capabilities.
The Eurofighter Typhoon, an European multinational twin-engine fighter aircraft, was originally designed with air-superiority capabilities. The project is a joint endeavor led by a consortium consisting of Airbus, BAE Systems, and Leonardo, managed by the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency, representing the UK, Germany, Italy, and Spain. This aircraft has evolved into a highly agile, multirole fighter, capable of excelling in air-to-air combat as well as air-to-surface strike missions. The Typhoon has proven its mettle in various military operations, including its combat debut during the 2011 intervention in Libya, showcasing its effectiveness in reconnaissance and ground-strike missions. These aircraft have been designed to meet the specific needs of each nation while maintaining a common platform.
The Tranche 3 Typhoons, which Kuwait has procured, come equipped with conformal fuel tanks, fiber optic cabling, and advanced computer systems, along with defensive system upgrades. Some of the early variants in this series are installed with the Captor-M mechanically scanned array radar due to the unavailability of the Captor-E AESA radar. However, the Captor-E radar, which offers enhanced capabilities, will gradually replace the Captor-M on these aircraft, making them even more formidable in multirole combat scenarios. Kuwait’s Tranche 3A Typhoons will be the first serial production batch to feature the Captor-E radar during manufacturing, underlining the commitment to advanced technology and operational efficiency. the Typhoon fighters sent to Kuwait have been fitted with a Mauser BK27mm gun and capable of mounting various missiles based on the mission.
Kuwait’s decision to invest in the aircraft showcases its dedication to modernizing and strengthening its air force. The Kuwaiti National Assembly’s approval of the procurement in 2016 marked a significant step forward.
The agreement between Kuwait and Leonardo, valued at €7.957 billion ($9.062 billion), facilitated the acquisition of 28 Typhoons, all to the Tranche 3 standard.
These aircraft will be outfitted with the Captor-E AESA radar, Leonardo’s Praetorian defensive aids suite, and the PIRATE infrared search and track system, providing Kuwait with cutting-edge technology to enhance its air defense capabilities. The contract encompasses not only the production of the aircraft in Italy but also logistics, operational support, and comprehensive training for flight crews and ground personnel. Additionally, infrastructure improvements at the Ali Al Salem Air Base, where the Typhoons will be stationed, highlight Kuwait’s commitment to fostering a robust defense ecosystem.