Boeing expects Kuwait aircraft sale deal soon
DUBAI: Boeing, the world’s second-largest weapons maker, said yesterday it expects a sale to Kuwait of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets to be finalized soon, but lower oil prices are delaying some weapons purchase programs by Gulf states.
Kuwait was expected to announce an order for 28 of the fighter jets worth over $3 billion, Reuters reported earlier this year. “There are things that we’re waiting on... those things are going to be cleared and we think they’re going to be cleared soon,” said Paul Oliver, vice-president of international business development in the Middle East and Africa for Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security business.
Gulf governments are looking to replenish arms due to regional conflicts but longer-term programs are being postponed as low oil prices shrink state coffers.
“They’ve put some things on the shelf... they want to be very prudent, but they’re focused on needs right now,” Oliver said in Dubai ahead of the Dubai Airshow.
Some development programs could be delayed for about three years due to low oil prices for oil-exporting Gulf states, he said. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s and United Arab Emirates involvement in the Yemen war has driven these countries to expand and speed up their replenishment of arms, along with the rest of Middle East clients, Oliver said.
“I don’t think anybody is looking at any of these things to be over quick,” Oliver said. Procurements for “proven, off-the-self solutions” have accelerated, Oliver added, including Chinook and Apache helicopters. —Reuters
F A 18 Super Hornet