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Kuwait F/A-18

On 28 September 2016 US officials began notifying US lawmakers about the sale of 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, plus options for 12 more, to Kuwait for around $3 billion. The deal paved the way for the three Middle Eastern countries to receive F-15E Strike Eagles, F/A-18 Super Hornets, and F-16 fighters. Kuwait and Qatar requested the sale of the fighters two years ago, and while the US Congress approved of the deal, the White House had been dragging its feet.

In 1987 Iran used Chinese-made Silkworms cruise missiles to hit ships in Kuwaiti waters this week. Their continued firing could have catastrophic consequences for Kuwait. Kuwait was not militarily capable of striking back at the Silkworms.

With the May 1988 request for 40 F-18 warplanes, Kuwait joined a growing list of Middle Eastern countries seeking sophisticated weapons from the United States, and the Reagan Administration had shown increased willingness to make such sales. The sale of the F-18's could significantly expand the United States commitment to Kuwait, which is already receiving American protection for its oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Kuwait had requested 40 fighter aircraft of another type, the F-16, made by the General Dynamics Corporation. It was not clear how the earlier request related to the later request. American officials said Kuwait had apparently dropped its request for F-16's.

Representative Lawrence J. Smith, a Florida Democrat who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he intended to lead opposition to the sale of F-18's to Kuwait. ''Such a sale would be absurd, absolutely inappropriate, far beyond what the Kuwaitis need to defend themselves,'' he said in an interview with the New York Times. ''I am absolutely frustrated and amazed at this Administration's desire to arm the entire Middle East to the teeth. It's another example of how our Government uses arms sales as a substitute for diplomacy.''

The administration secured Congressional acceptance for the sale of 40 F/A-18 fighters to Kuwait in July of 1988. In the aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war, Congress appeared more willing to acquiesce to the defensive needs of the Gulf states. Anthony Cordesman, a military affairs analyst who has written in favor of Middle East arms sales, has said that Kuwait "will be unable to use its arms against any nation without supplier assistance, although Iran and Iraq could operate many Kuwaiti weapons systems if these were seized in a future invasion." One purpose of U.S. arms transfers to Kuwait is to standardize U.S. and Kuwaiti equipment. The desire to achieve a greater level of interoperability culminated in the two states signing a 10-year bilateral defense agreement in 1991.

In 2004 it ws reported that Kuwait was planning to buy 10 additional F/A-18 fighter jets from the United States, to add to the 40 bought in 1992. The information on the deal was published in a report for US Congress Research Services by Kenneth Katzman, an American specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. The cost of the deal however was not mentioned in the report entitled Kuwait: Issues after Saddam and US Policies.

The Government of Kuwait requested 07 June 2013 a possible sale of continuation of logistics support, contractor maintenance, and technical services in support of the F/A-18 C/D aircraft to include avionics software upgrade, engine component improvement, ground support equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, engineering change proposals, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support services and other related elements of logistical support. The estimated cost is $200 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. The proposed sale of this support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractors will be General Dynamics of Fairfax, Virginia; The Boeing Company of St. Louis, Missouri; and Wyle Laboratories, Inc of Huntsville, Alabama. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. On January 19, 2010 th eUnited States Navy awarded DynCorp International (NYSE:DCP) a$16.9 million modification to a previously awarded contract for maintenance services in support of the Kuwait Air Force F/A-18 program under the Foreign Military Sales program. This modificationexercises the final option year under the contract, initially awarded in 2006 by the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent River,Md. DynCorp International (DI) provides organizational andintermediate-level aviation maintenance support for F/A-18 aircraft, as well as supply support, quality control, training, and maintenance and material documentation services for these aircraft owned by the Kuwaiti military. DI had supported the Kuwait Air Force F/A-18 program since 1997.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on 04 Decembe 2013 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait for F/A-18 C/D follow-on contractor engineering technical services and associated equipment, parts, and logistical support for an estimated cost of $150 million.

The Government of Kuwait requested the continuation of contractor engineering technical services, contractor maintenance services, Hush House support services, and Liaison Office Support for the Kuwaits Air Forces F/A-18 C/D program, which will include spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support services and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $150 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East. The proposed sale of support services will enable the Kuwait Air Force to ensure the reliability and performance of its F/A-18 C/D aircraft.

In early May 2015 AFP reported that Kuwait planned to order 28 Super Hornet advanced fighter jets worth $3 billion from Boeing. The order for the F/A-18E/F multirole aircraft would mark an important victory for Boeing over European rivals, which had been pitching the Eurofighter Typhoon to the Gulf country.

On 22 September 2015 Kuwait became the newest member of the Eurofighter Typhoon community, signing an MoU for 28 of the fighters, worth up to 8bn. Kuwait signed an agreement with Eurofighter partner Italy (Finmeccania SpA, through its subsidiary Alenia Aermacchi), to buy 28 Eurofighter Typhoons - with training, weapons and support - at a cost of up to 8 billion. It was the first time the Eurofighter Typhoon had secured an order in open competition. Defense News reported Kuwait may go for a split buy and purchase about 20 jets from Boeing.

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Aircraft with support, equipment, and training. The estimated cost is $10.1 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 17, 2016.

The Government of Kuwait requested to purchase thirty-two (32) F/A-18E aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines; eight (8) F/A-18F aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines; eight (8) spare F414-GE-400 engines and twenty-four (24) engine modules; forty-one (41) AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars; forty-four (44) M61A2 20mm Gun Systems; forty-five (45) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Radar Warning Receivers; two hundred and forty (240) LAU-127E/A Guided Missile Launchers; forty-five (45) AN/ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser Systems; twelve (12) AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER Advanced Targeting Pods; forty-eight (48) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); forty-five (45) AN/ALQ-214 Radio Frequency Counter-Measures Systems; forty-five (45) AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; forty-eight (48) Link-16 Systems; eight (8) Conformal Fuel Tanks; and fourteen (14) AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR Systems. Also included in the sale are ARC-210 radio (aircraft); Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems; AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); Launchers (LAU- 115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU-l 18A); Command Launch Computer (CLC) for Air to Ground Missile 88 (AGM-88); ANAV/MAGR GPS Navigation; and Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS).

Alsoincouded are aircraft spares; Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); support equipment; aircrew/maintenance training; contractor engineering technical service; logistics technical services; engineering technical services; other technical assistance; contractor logistics support; flight test services; storage and preservation; aircraft ferry; Repair of Repairable (RoR); support systems and associated logistics; training aides and devices; spares; technical data Engineering Change Proposals; avionics software support; software; technical publications; engineering and program support; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistic support services.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East. Kuwait is a strategic partner in maintaining stability in the region. The acquisition of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft will allow for greater interoperability with U.S. forces, providing benefits for training and possible future coalition operations in support of shared regional security objectives.

The proposed sale of the F/A- l8E/F Super Hornet aircraft will improve Kuwait's capability to meet current and future warfare threats. Kuwait will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft will supplement and eventually replace the Kuwait Air Force's aging fighter aircraft. Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri; Northrop Grumman in Los Angeles, California; Raytheon Company in El Segundo, California; and General Electric in Lynn, Massachusetts. Offsets agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected; however, specific agreements are undetermined and will be defined during negotiations between the purchaser and contractor. Kuwait requires contractors to satisfy an offset obligation equal to 35 percent of the main contract purchase price for any sale of defense articles in excess of three million Kuwait Dinar, (approximately $10 million USD).

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of contractor representatives to Kuwait on an intermittent basis over the life of the case to support delivery of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and provide support and equipment familiarization. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.



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