Kuwait set to buy Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets from Italy
The Kuwaiti Government has began talks with Italy to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, in a bid to upgrade the country's air force capabilities.
According to a source, this possible deal would see the purchase of two squadrons of fighter planes and around 24 to 28 of the twin-engine jets, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The deal, which is expected to worth more than €4bn, could also cover pilot training and other related items.
The combat jet is built by Eurofighter, a consortium consisting of Finmeccanica, Airbus Group and BAE Systems. The jet is already operational in the region after Saudi Arabia purchased the aircraft through a deal with the UK.
Eurofighter Typhoon is a foreplane delta-wing, beyond-visual-range, close air fighter aircraft with surface attack capability.
The aircraft features 13 hard points for weapon carriage, four under each wing and five under the fuselage.
Currently, Kuwait has a fleet of 39 older-model Boeing F/A-18 Hornet jets. Recently, International Business Times reported that Kuwait is planning to buy 28 Super Hornet advanced fighter jets worth $3bn from Boeing,
However, according to a source, the deal with Italy would not affect a potential foreign military sale for the Boeing aircraft, Defense News reported.
The source was quoted as saying: "There has always been the possibility for a split buy.
"Talks with the US Government about a Super Hornet sale are still moving forward."
Currently, another Middle East country, Oman, is also planning to introduce the Typhoon combat jets.
Meanwhile, Qatar is on track to buy 36 fighter planes from France's Dassault Aviation, while Egypt agreed to introduce the French Rafale jet.
Image: A Royal Saudi Air Force Typhoon fighter. Photo: courtesy of Gordon Zammit.