Kuwait parliament approves extra $500 million for Eurofighter jets

Friday 26/02/2016
Rampant militarisation in troubled region

KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait's parliament on Tuesday approved a bill allowing the government of the oil-rich Gulf state to spend an additional $500 million on buying Eurofighter "Typhoon" warplanes.

The new funding comes on top of $10 billion additional defence spending already approved by parliament in January to upgrade the country's military.

Defence Minister Sheikh Khaled Jarrah Al-Sabah told MPs the $10 billion will be spent over the next 10 years, while the new funds will be used as an advance payment for the jets.

The Eurofighter consortium said in September that Kuwait had agreed to buy 28 Typhoons in a deal worth 7-8 billion euros ($8-9 billion).

The extra funds will be withdrawn from state reserves.

The emirate is a member of the US-led coalition that has been bombing Islamic State group targets in Syria and Iraq since last year, and is also taking part in a Saudi-led coalition pounding Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

Also 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 buy the helicopters for one billion euros, with an option for a further six.

Other deals included the provision of French light armoured vehicles and patrol boat maintenance.

1