The United States Department of State has given the green light to a potential military sale worth $1.8bn to the Government of Kuwait.
The deal, if finalized, will enable Kuwait to strengthen its armed forces by acquiring continuation of contractor engineering technical services and maintenance support. The proposed sale aims to strengthen regional security and support Kuwait’s position as a critical player in the Middle East.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress about this possible sale costing $1.8bn.
The sale includes support services for the Hush House, an enclosed facility for testing and suppressing noise from aircraft jet engines. Liaison office support for Kuwait’s F/A-18 C/D/E/F program is also part of the package, encompassing avionics software upgrades, engine component improvements, ground support equipment, spares, repair parts, publications, and technical documentation.
Furthermore, the sale covers engineering change proposals, programmatic, financial, and logistics support from the US Government and contractors, maintenance and engineering assistance, F404/F414 engine and engine test cell support, and related logistical and program support elements. These provisions will ensure follow-on sustainment support for Kuwait’s F/A-18C/D/E/F aircraft.
The sale is expected to enhance the security of Kuwait, a Major Non-NATO ally, and contribute to the national security objectives of the United States. Recognizing Kuwait’s role as a vital force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East, this sale will enable Kuwait to address current and future regional threats better.
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Kuwait and the US have many shared interests in the Middle East, and the US remains Kuwait’s security guarantor. Kuwait imports most of its defence equipment from the US and France, accounting for 56.5% and 26% of its total defence imports during 2017–21, according to GlobalData’s “Kuwait Defence Market 2022-2027” report.
The US approved the sale of M1A2K tank ammunition to Kuwait in September 2022, the US Pentagon provided support for Kuwait’s KC-130 fleet, and the US approved a CAD/PAD sale for Kuwait’s KC-130/J and F/A-18 jets both in the same month, showing a strong and consistent affiliation between the two nations.
The principal contractors involved in this potential sale include Boeing, Brown, General Electric, Industrial Financial Services, Kay and Associates, Kellogg, L3 Technologies, Lockheed Martin, Root and Sigmatech.
To implement the proposed sale effectively, approximately 735 US Government and contractor representatives will be assigned to Kuwait for three years to establish and maintain operational capability.