The Weekly Wire: Week of 6/5/2015
Kuwait is in talks with Italy regarding a potential sale of up to 28 Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft in a deal that could exceed €4 billion. The news comes on the heels of earlier discussions between the United States and Kuwait surrounding a possible foreign military sale of up to 40 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters. Discussions about the Eurofighter do not necessarily preclude a split buy option with Boeing. Purchasing similar platforms to serve the same mission is a common tactic for Middle Eastern nations, as evidenced by Saudi Arabia’s recent buys of both upgraded F-15SA jets from the United States and Eurofighter Typhoons from the United Kingdom. Kuwait may pursue a split buy as well, as it already familiar with both platforms. Kuwait and Italy are under already a military cooperation agreement allowing Kuwaiti pilots to train on Italian Eurofighters in Italy, while the Kuwaiti fleet already includes 39 older F/A Hornets.
The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Japan for four E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Early Warning and Control Aircraft, associated equipment and logistical support for an estimated cost of $1.7 billion. The new aircraft improve Japanese intelligence and surveillance capabilities over the Pacific and augment its existing fleet of 13 E-2C Hawkeyes. This sale falls in a busy time for American and Japanese military cooperation after an earlier deal between the two allies resulted in the sale of 17 Boeing V-22 Osprey for $3 billion, two tranches of AWACS upgrades totaling just over $1.1 billion, and yet another deal for 3 Global Hawks in November 2014. As the prime for both the E-2D and the Global Hawk, the recent slew of deals bolsters Northrop Grumman’s role as a major provider of regional ISR capabilities.