The country’s fifth and sixth aircraft have been delivered as the first four reached the milestone of 100 flight sorties.
The third delivery flight of the Kuwait Air Force’s new Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, which was completed on September 28, 2022, finally brought to Salem Al Sabah air base the first single seater aircraft, together with another twin-seater. The two aircraft are the fifth and sixth out to be delivered out of an order for 28 Typhoons, with the first ferried to their new home in December 2021.
As for the other delivery flights, the Italian Air Force provided support with a KC-767A tanker of the 14° Stormo (Wing) from Pratica di Mare for the air-to-air refueling of the two aircraft along the route. According to the photos of the air-to-air refueling that were posted online, the Kuwaiti aircraft were also escorted by at least another Italian Typhoon from the 36° Stormo (Wing) from Gioia del Colle.
Guido Sibona, Vice President of Leonardo’s Eurofighter Programme, said: “We are proud to deliver to our customer two more new Eurofighters, including the first single-seater aircraft. They join the aircraft already in service at the new Salem Al Sabah base which in the meantime have reached the milestone of one hundred air sorties. The Eurofighter Typhoons we have developed for the Kuwait Air Force are the most advanced ever produced under the European programme. In cooperation with the Italian Air Force, we are providing the country with a wide-ranging air defence capability, together with the construction of state-of-the-art infrastructure to support and maintain of a fleet of 28 aircraft.”
As also mentioned in the press release, the twin seater delivered last week was the same that was sent to RAF Fairford to be on static display at this year’s RIAT. On that occasion the pilot, Colonel Eisa Airashidi, commander of the 7th Squadron of the Kuwait Air Force, commented: “This year we are very proud to return to the Royal International Air Tattoo with the most advanced Eurofighter Typhoon in the world. Thanks to the capabilities of this platform, the Kuwait Air Force is one of the best equipped air forces in the region.”
The Eurofighter Kuwait programme is part of a wider and deeper collaboration between the Italian Air Force and the Kuwait Air Force that spans operations, pilot training and support. The Italian Air Force is undertaking initial training, in Italy, of the engineers and technicians who will support the activities of the Typhoon fleet in country. As further testimony to this, both the Kuwaiti pilots at RIAT sported the Italian F-2000A patch on their flight suit, an emblem they got being trained in Italy by the 20° Gruppo (Squadron) of the Aeronautica Militare, the service’s Eurofighter OCU (Operational Conversion Unit).
Once the initial cadre of instructors is qualified, training will move to Kuwait, where the two Air Forces will continue to cooperate. “We are looking to start the OCU in Kuwait by the end of 2022 with the support of the Italian Air Force and Leonardo to build and maintain a quality pilot training centre for Kuwait”, said Colonel Airashidi.