Kuwait is set to receive its first batch of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets in the fourth quarter of 2020, the commander of the country’s Air Force said on Sunday.
The Gulf country signed a long-delayed $8.7bn contract for 28 of the aircraft with Italian defence company Finmeccanica in April 2016.
Under the deal, Kuwait will receive 22 single-seat and six twin-seat aircraft, which will be assembled in Italy by Finmeccanica with some parts produced by the UK’s BAE systems.
At the time of the order, Kuwait was the third customer in the Gulf region for the Eurofighter after Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Qatar subsequently signed a roughly $6.8bn deal for 24 jets last year and Saudi Arabia reached an estimated $13bn provisional deal for a further 48 jets in March.
Air vice marshal Adnan Al-Fadhli told Kuwait state news agency KUNA a team from Kuwait’s armed forced had visited Eurofighter factories in Europe to see production taking place.
Kuwaiti pilots are also training in Italy in preparation and took part in manoeuvres in Oman and Egypt.
The Kuwait contract includes the building of infrastructure at Al-Salem airbase, training services for pilots and initial support services for three years, according to AINonline.
The Eurofigher Typhoon is being built under an alliance of defence and aerospace companies in Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.
More than 500 of the aircraft have already been delivered to Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Austria, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Other deliveries are expected between 2020 and 2023.