By Bijan Razzaghi
Kuwait has signed a deal with Boeing to purchase 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets 22 of the aircraft are E models while 6 of them are two seat F models. The Super Hornet platform will introduce a wide range of capabilities to the Kuwaiti Air Force and will likely either replace or complement the existing Kuwaiti Air Force F/A-18C/Ds delivered in the 1990s. In addition Kuwait is also set to receive 28 Eurofighter Typhoons.
The F/A-18E/F will provide Kuwait with a valuable strike platform capable of preforming ground attack, SEAD and anti ship missions. In addition the F/A-18E/F can preform un-escorted strike missions as well. The Typhoons set to be delivered are likely to be delegated to the air superiority and air defense roles, while the Super Hornets will conduct the roles mentioned above.
Kuwait’s Air Force recent purchase of modern fighter aircraft signals the countries desire to build up its Air Forces capabilities beyond air defense and strike.In addition the new purchases would match Kuwait’s Air Force with neighboring Qatar which recently purchased Eurofigther Typhoons, Dassault Rafale’s and Boeing F-15QAs.
Kuwait’s purchase of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet along with the US Navy’s recent purchase of the Block III Super Hornet will keep boeing’s F/A-18E/F production line open until at least 2025.Boeing also produces the F-15E Strike series of fighters which remains in production and continues to be offered, It is unclear if Kuwait’s F/A-18E/Fs will feature the Block IIIs IRST and CFTs. The deal is worth $1.2 billion.