Kuwait buys 16 Apaches

06 September 2002

The Defence Ministry signed on 31 August an estimated KD 263 million ($847 million) agreement with The Boeing Company of the US for the supply of 16 Apache AH-64D Longbow helicopters and associated equipment. The agreement was cleared by the US Congress in mid June (MEED 28:6:02).

Under the agreement, the multi-mission combat helicopters will be equipped with radar systems, says the official Kuwait news agency (Kuna). First deliveries are scheduled for early 2005.

In 1997, the US Defence Department received a request for the sale of 16 Apache Longbows. The deal is a revival of the original order, which was blocked. The Gulf state operates a fleet of 40 F-18s, purchased before the 1990-91 Gulf war (MEED 28:12:01).

Sources say that the signing of the deal has paved the way for the government to move ahead with an estimated $2,000 million-worth of defence contracts.

A number of other big ticket deals are under negotiation, including some major orders from the UK's defence industry. The UK's BAE Systems, with Lockheed Martin Corporation of the US, is competing with France's Thales and the US' Raytheon Corporation to supply Kuwait with a sophisticated command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) defence system (MEED 29:6:01).

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