Kuwait to purchase 28 warplanes: Eurofighter

Updated 12 September 2015
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Kuwait to purchase 28 warplanes: Eurofighter

BERLIN: Kuwait has agreed to buy 28 Typhoon warplanes, becoming the third country in the Gulf region to order the combat aircraft, the Eurofighter consortium said.
Its statement did not give financial details about the deal, which was struck between the governments of Kuwait and Italy.
Eurofighter is a partnership between Italy’s Finmeccanica, Britain’s BAE Systems and civilian planemaker Airbus.
According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, Kuwait’s overall order was estimated to be worth between seven and eight billion euros ($8-9 billion).
The accord was signed Thursday by Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and Finmeccanica Chief Executive Officer Mauro Moretti, the newspaper said.
“This new agreement is the confirmation of the superiority of the Eurofighter over its competitors and will provide a great opportunity for further Eurofighter orders,” said Eurofighter CEO Alberto Gutierrez in the statement.
“The Eurofighter is already proven and trusted by six nations to perform in all operational environments,” he added.
In the Gulf region, the Kuwait deal follows Oman’s order of 12 Eurofighter Typhoons in December 2012.
“The State of Kuwait will be the third country in the Middle East, and the eighth country overall to operate the aircraft,” another member of the Eurofighter consortium, BAE Systems, said in a statement.
“This confirms Typhoon’s position as the most advanced new generation swing role combat aircraft available today,” it added, referring to the fighter jet’s ability to handle different roles in combat.
Kuwait is looking to upgrade its firepower against the backdrop of increased security concerns in the region linked to the rise of the Daesh group.
The Eurofighter deal with Kuwait represents a setback for US rival Boeing.
Kuwait had been expected to opt for Boeing’s Super Hornet F18s.
Before the sale was official, a source close to the matter in the United States had indicated that Kuwait was in discussions for the two planes, indicating the final order could include both Super Hornets and the Eurofighter jets.
A spokesman for Boeing had said: “The USNavy and Boeing continue to discuss Super Hornets with potential Middle East customers.”
The Kuwait deal is also a boost for Eurofighter against another rival, the Rafale jet built by French firm Dassault Aviation, which has deals in the region with Egypt and Qatar.
The Eurofighter Typhoon, which has a list price of around $140 million, is Europe’s largest collaborative defense program, with the Kuwait purchase taking the number of the aircraft sold to 599.
Since it first entered into service in late 2003, 444 aircraft have been delivered to six nations.
Earlier media reports Friday of the sale sent shares of Finmeccanica soaring more the 5.0 percent on the Milan stock exchange, while in London BAE Systems closed nearly 2.0 percent higher.


Turkey will respond if US imposes more sanctions — trade minister

Updated 32 sec ago
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Turkey will respond if US imposes more sanctions — trade minister

  • American pastor’s detention in Turkey has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency
  • Washington warned Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless the pastor was released
ISTANBUL: Turkey on Friday threatened to respond if the United States levied further sanctions over the detention of an American pastor, which has sparked a diplomatic standoff and battered the Turkish currency.
“We’ve already responded based on the World Trade Organization rules and will continue to do so,” Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.
Washington warned on Thursday that it would impose more sanctions unless pastor Andrew Brunson, described by US President Donald Trump as a “hostage,” was released.
Brunson’s detention since October 2016 on terror-related charges has soured relations between the two NATO allies, sending the Turkish lira into a tailspin.
The lira, which earlier this week traded at well over seven to the dollar, was at 5.8 against the dollar and 6.7 against euro on Friday.
Last week, Trump tweeted that his administration was doubling aluminum and steel tariffs for Turkey, and in response Ankara sharply hiked tariffs on some US products.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested Thursday the next spiral of tit-for-tat sanctions was coming soon, in a sign of a deepening spat.
Trump prefaced Mnuchin’s remarks by saying that Turkey had not been a very good friend to America.
Referring to Brunson, Trump said: “They have a great Christian pastor there, he’s a very innocent man.”