Kuwait Buys 30 Choppers Worth 1 Billion Euros
Category: Kuwait

Kuwait’s armed forces placed a firm order worth more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) for 30 Airbus Caracal military helicopters, the French defence ministry said. The deal signed on Tuesday is part of 2.5 billion euros in French defence contracts announced last year by the Gulf emirate. The long-range H225M tactical transport helicopters, each seating 28 troops in addition to crew, are destined for the Kuwaiti army and national guard, the French ministry said, with deliveries to begin early in 2019.

Airbus confirmed the order in a statement. Continued from Page 1 The Kuwaiti order is a much-needed boost for the Airbus Group’s helicopter division, which has been hit by weaker demand from the oil and gas industry.

It has also suffered in the wake of April’s fatal crash of a H225 Super Puma, the model’s civilian version, blamed on gearbox metal fatigue in a preliminary report. The Ministry of Defense said in a statement that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Khaled Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, with attendance of his visiting French counterpart Jean- Yves Le Drian, signed the contract with representatives of the manufacturing company, Airbus Helicopters, to buy 30 military Caracal helicopters for employment by the Kuwaiti land, marine and air forces.

The Ministry of Defense added in a statement that six of the purchased multi-wing aircraft would be allocated for the Kuwaiti National Guards, affirming the keenness on acquiring such copters of high operational capacities and advanced specifications to back up the armed forces in combat missions. The copters are equipped with sophisticated electronic systems and airto- surface missiles, the Ministry of Defense said, adding that the deal stipulates logistical support, training the pilots and technicians with all necessary equipment for the mock military training drills to be provided. The ceremony of signing the contract was attended by top military officers and commanders.

France has given Kuwait military support since the 1990 invasion of the country by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces. The two countries are also fighting together in the international coalition against the Islamic State jihadist group. “With this deal, Kuwait further strengthens the strategic partnership which has bound together our two countries for several decades, while we are currently engaged side-by-side in the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria,” Le Drian said in a statement, using the Arabic term for Islamic State. Kuwait’s army will use 24 of the helicopters mainly for search and rescue missions and for transport purposes, but they are also fitted with machine guns allowing them to offer ground troops cover from the air. The Kuwait National Guard will operate the remaining six helicopters.



10 Aug, 2016 0 896
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