Late last year, the Kuwaitis and Eurofighter revealed that a deal was being negotiated for the GCC state to become the third member of the Eurofighter team, joining Saudi Arabia and Oman.
The deal was formally signed this week between Italy and Kuwait. The deal is for 28 Tranche 3 Eurofighters, with 22 being single seat and the remander two-seaters.
The deal includes pilot training, logistics and infrastructure improvements as well.
Most importantly, Kuwait is buying the latest version of the aircraft which includes the new radar and other enhancements.
Eurofighter Tranche 3 has a significantly enhanced combat capability for both air-to-air and air-to-ground operations.
Kuwait Eurofighter. Credit: Eurofighter
As Paul Smith put it with regard to the radar transition for Tranche 3:
The new Captor-E radar allows for greater capability to see and operate within the battlespace. It provides for flexible task management with multifunctional performance and simultaneous modes for air to air and air to surface.
It provides an electronic attack capability, which complements our current EW capability on the aircraft as well as ESM, or electronic support measures as well.
The new radar will be able to leverage very effectively the new Meteor missile with its two-way data link to expand the capability of the aircraft to operate against adversary aircraft at a distance and in complex combat situations.
The situational awareness delivered by the fusion of Captor and other sensors in combination with the larger no escape zone of the Meteor should give Typhoon a significant combat advantage.
The plane itself is crucial, but it can lead one to miss the core point – the Typhoon has become a core air combat platform for the 21st century, and the consortium has expanded its stakeholders in the modernization of the aircraft as a 21st century combat system.
In a press release by Eurofighter dated April 5, 2016, the CEO of Eurofighter, Volker Palzo underscored the critical mass point:
“The confirmation of this order is further testament of the growing interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon in the Gulf Region.
It will enable Kuwait to benefit from the critical mass being developed in the Gulf and the many advantages that it brings to an Air Force in terms of interoperability, training and in-service support.”
The announcement of the agreement in the Kuwait Times highlighted the importance of training and infrastructure involved with the purchase:
The statement pointed out the ministry’s keenness to acquire highest level of operational capabilities through this purchase.
The contract is an intergovernmental agreement between the two countries and includes logistics and operational support, as well as training of both aircrews and ground personnel.
The latter will be carried out in cooperation with the Italian Air Force, and in particular with the 20th Gruppo, ItAF Typhoon OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) based at Grosseto airbase.
It also added, the timeline for the arrival of the aircraft as well.
According to the ministry’s statement, the first two aircraft will arrive in the last quarter of 2019, with the complete arrival of all aircraft by 2022, and an expected in-service operation till 2050.
Kuwait will get the Typhoon in its most advanced configuration: Tranche 3 planes equipped with the cutting-edge new electronically scanned array radar.
For an additional look at Eurofighter modernization, see the following:
For a report on Eurofighter modernization, see the following: