Boe­ing expects Kuwait air­craft sale deal soon

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

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

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