ROME — A contract for 28 Eurofighter aircraft that was expected to be signed Sunday by Kuwait has been put off for “procedural” reasons, an Italian Ministry of Defence source said.
Last week, sources in Italy and Kuwait told Defense News that the long-awaited contract, based on a memorandum of understanding signed in September, would be signed on Sunday by Kuwaiti Minister of Defense Khaled al-Jarrah al-Sabah and Italian Minister of Defense Roberta Pinotti.
However, the signing did not take place, and a source in Rome said that it had been held up “by internal procedural problems” in Kuwait and did not say if a new date had been fixed.
The deal was initially expected before the end of 2015, and was held up over talks as to where Kuwaiti pilots would train, which Italy finally agreed on.
Separately, an executive close to the deal said previously that a contract for missiles will be signed separately.
Kuwait has a specific requirement for missiles for use against fast offshore boats, the executive said. These missiles are not in the core requirement among the four Eurofighter consortium partners – Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain – but Kuwait is keen to fly the Typhoon in a maritime role.
Tom Kington reported from Rome, Awad Mustafa reported from Dubai and Pierre Tran reported from Paris.