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Kuwait Invests in Aerospace Excellence: Boeing Lands $70m F/A-18 Logistics Agreement

The US has granted the contract to Boeing to supply integrated logistics assistance for the government of Kuwait in support of preparing Kuwaiti pilots for the delivery of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The US Air Force has awarded Boeing a $70m contract to deliver crucial general logistics support for Kuwaiti pilots on the F/A-18E/F fighter jet. The agreement facilitates the incorporation of the F/A-18E/F into the Kuwait armed forces as a strike fighter intended for conventional strike operations and air support.

Kuwait has previously employed the aircraft for homeland defense but is phasing out its fleet of Hornet F/A-18C and F/A-18D aircraft. Work on the project encompasses general logistics support, logistics program management, and logistics assistance to aircraft during pilot training with Sniper advanced targeting pods (ATPs).

It will be conducted for three years and will help improve targeting capabilities. This contract will bolster Kuwait’s ability to counter regional threats and protect its borders and major infrastructure, according to the US. GlobalData’s “Kuwait Defense Market 2022-2027” report states the Kuwaiti Government is set to establish one of the largest US military airbases in the Middle East at an anticipated cost of $32m. The construction of the new Cargo City will enable Kuwait to enhance the operational efficiency of its military and promote security and stability throughout Kuwait.

The 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent occupation by Iraq, which lasted for nearly seven months, urged Kuwait to concentrate on developing a strong defense capability. Kuwait has since utilized its oil and gas export revenues to finance its defense acquisitions. Kuwait’s military fixed-wing market forecast is valued at $496m but is projected to reach $1bn by 2026, according to GlobalData’s report “The Global Military Fixed-Wing Aircraft Market Forecast 2023-2033.”

However, last month, Boeing revealed plans to cease the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft production in late 2025. Kuwait, Boeing, and the US’s tripartite relationship dates back to the 1990s, as Kuwait procured military fixed-wing aircraft from Boeing. Currently, in Kuwait’s equipment inventory, Kuwait possesses 31 F/A-18C and eight F/A-18D, with both acquisitions occurring in the early 1990s following the invasion of Iraq. In September 2022, the US announced that it had approved M1A2K tank ammunition sales to Kuwait.

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