Eurofighter has announced that production has begun for the first Typhoon for Kuwait. The manufacturer describes the Kuwaiti Typhoon as the most advanced to date, with Captor-E active electronically scanned radar and new additions to the weapon system.
The Ministry of Defence of the State of Kuwait signed a contract on April 5, 2016 for 28 Typhoons to be supplied by the Leonardo Aircraft Division, which heads up the Italian side of the multinational Eurofighter programme.
According to a December 12 press release from the parent company: “Production activities have begun in order to comply with the contract and the customer expectations. Long-lead-time items procurement has been immediately activated and the supply chain has been mobilised.”
Giancarlo Mezzanatto, Eurofighter Programme Unit Vice President of the Leonardo Aircraft Division said: “Production activities started in the second half of 2016 and are currently in line with the baseline plan and, in some cases, ahead of schedule. The wing skins of the first left-hand wing at Leonardo and right-hand wing at Airbus Defence & Space in Spain have already completed and the assembly phase will start before the end of 2017.
“The first rear fuselage section is going to start the Stage 2 assembly phase at Leonardo in early 2018, while the Stage 1 assembly phase is already running in BAE Systems for the first five aircraft. The centre fuselage section, produced by Airbus Defence & Space in Germany, will start the assembly in the first half of 2018 having already commenced the ‘pre-assy’ phase according to the plan.”
The Kuwait Air Force will receive Typhoons with MBDA Storm Shadow and Brimstone air-to-surface weapons integrated.
“This configuration foresees the integration of a new advanced laser designator pod (the Lockheed Martin Sniper) that will expand Eurofighter’s portfolio of cleared laser designator pods, the introduction of the DRS-Cubic ACMI P5 combat training pod, an enhanced navigation aid (VOR) and the E-Scan radar CAPTOR with its antenna repositioner”, continued Mezzanatto.
Work is also under way to establish infrastructure in Kuwait to operate the aircraft. Construction activities started in August 2017 and are concentrated at Al-Salem Air Base, which will house the jets.
Delivery of the aircraft will start in 2020 and will be completed in 2023. The agreement with the Kuwait MoD includes initial support services for three years, with an option for a further five. This includes the supply of equipment and a suite of training devices to establish a pilot Operational Conversion Unit in Kuwait.