Kuwait has allocated an additional $10 billion funds to purchase new fighter jets, tanks and air defense systems over the next decade.
Kuwait’s parliament unanimously approved a request by the state government. The money, which is to be placed in a special fund outside the budget, would be used to purchase new fighter jets, tanks and air defense systems, Defense Minister Sheikh Khaled Jarrah Al-Sabah was quoted by AFP Tuesday.
Sheikh Khaled said it was time to modernize the army’s weapons since existing ones were bought more than two decades ago.
The funds would be withdrawn from state reserves. The government had earlier requested double the amount but later settled on $10 billion with the promise to include additional funds within the annual budgets when needed and depending on the financial situation, Finance Minister Anas al-Saleh told Parliament.
Kuwait is looking to upgrade its firepower amid increased security concerns in the region linked to the rise of the jihadist Islamic State group and sectarian conflicts.
The emirate is a member of the US-led coalition that has been bombing IS targets in Syria and Iraq since last year and is also taking part in a Saudi-led coalition pounding Iran-backed rebels in Yemen. But it is unclear if the additional funds are also linked to those operations.
The government does not publish specific figures for its defense budget.
Several reports have recently linked Kuwait to several arms deals amid regional turmoil.
The Eurofighter consortium said in September that Kuwait agreed to buy 28 Typhoon warplanes in a deal worth 7-8 billion Euros ($8-9 billion).
In November, Kuwait signed 2.5 billion Euros ($2.8 billion) worth of fixed and provisional military deals led by the purchase of 24 Airbus-built Caracal helicopters.
Paris said Kuwait would purchase the helicopters for 1.0 billion Euros, with an option for a further six.
Further deals included provision of French light armored vehicles and patrol boat maintenance.
Finmeccanica might delay the signing of a contract worth 7-8 billion euros to sell 28 Eurofighter jets to Kuwait. Finmeccanica CEO, Mauro Moretti said last Thursday that the contract may not be signed before December 25
Kuwait will sign an agreement to procure 24 Airbus Caracal helicopters in a US $1.1 billion defense deal from France Wednesday
Saab has delivered Automatic Warning and Reporting (AWR) system to a customer in Kuwait for the detection, identification, warning, monitoring and reporting of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) hazards. The system, which is a flexible, modular and future-proof solution, can be operated from fixed locations, carried by personnel or mounted on vehicles, the company announced today
Kuwait will finalize a deal to purchase Eurofighter jets from Italy next week. "Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti will visit Kuwait next week to sign the Eurofighter warplanes deal," Kuwait's Defence Minister Sheikh Khaled Jarrah al-Sabah was quoted as saying Thursday by
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