AVIATION & TRANSPORT

Kuwait said to plan $3bn order for Boeing F/A-18 fighter jets

A Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet performs an aerial display during Farnborough International Air Show, England, in July. (AP Photo)

Kuwait plans to order 28 Super Hornet advanced fighter jets worth $3 billion from Boeing, a source close to the deal told AFP Thursday.

The order for the F/A-18E/F aircraft marks an important victory for Boeing over European rivals, which had been pitching the Eurofighter Typhoon to the Gulf country.

The deal still requires official approval of the U.S. government, which strictly controls foreign defense sales.

But Kuwait has signed a letter of intent, and it could be officially confirmed in the coming days, possibly as President Barack Obama hosts Gulf leaders in Washington next week, according to the source.

The deal, along with an expected U.S. Navy order for 12 Super Hornets, would keep open Boeing’s F/A-18 assembly line in St. Louis, Missouri, which had been threatened with a shutdown for lack of orders.

Boeing declined to officially confirm the Kuwait order.

“We defer to the U.S. government for any details on foreign military sales. A near-term international order, along with Congressional funding for twelve U.S. Navy Super Hornets this year, would allow the company to continue delivering aircraft without a break in the production line,” said Boeing spokeswoman Caroline Hutcheson in an email.

Boeing won the order from Kuwait over the Eurofighter pitched by the European consortium BAE Systems, Airbus Defense and Space, and Finmeccanica.

Kuwait already has a fleet of earlier-generation F/A-18 Hornets acquired in the 1990s.

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Last Update: Thursday, 7 May 2015 KSA 17:56 - GMT 14:56
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Kuwait said to plan $3bn order for Boeing F/A-18 fighter jets
Deal for 28 Super Hornet advanced fighter jets would mark an important victory for Boeing over European rivals
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