Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Sunni Air Power Boosted Big Time with F-15 and F/A-18 Purchases by Kuwait and Qatar


(Photo : Kuwait Air Force) Kuwait Air Force FA-18C Hornets on the flight line.

The United States has approved the sale of 112 of its advanced fourth generation air superiority and multirole fighter jets to its Sunni  Arab allies, Kuwait and Qatar.

The U.S. Department of State has cleared the sale of 40 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multirole fighters to Kuwait and 72 Boeing F-15QA Advanced Eagle multirole fighters to Qatar.

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Kuwait will pay $10.1 billion for 32 single seat F/A-18E Super Hornets, 8 two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets and their associated F414-GE-400 engines and spares. The purchase price also includes 41 AN/APG active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars and a range of weapon systems.

These weapons include 20 mm guns; 240 guided missile launchers; 45 AN/ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receivers; 12 AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER advanced targeting pods; 48 Link-16 systems and eight conformal fuel tanks. The sale also includes associated support and logistics services.

The E/F Super Hornets feature more powerful F414-GE-400 engines and upgraded avionics suites. The flyaway cost for each aircraft is $60 million.

Qatar will pay $21.1 billion for its F-15QA Advanced Eagles and their associated weapons systems. The price tag also includes US-based training, maintenance support equipment, and logistics support.

The F-15QA is a variant developed for the Qatar Air Force.

Boeing officials said the sales to both Kuwait and Qatar will allow it to extend production of both jets into the 2020s and keep the line open for future sales.

The Kuwait Air Force has 32 Boeing F/A-18C Hornets in its inventory.  The Qatar Air Force operates the Dassault Mirage 2000 fourth generation multirole fighter and the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet light attack jet. It also has 24 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters on order.

Both the Kuwait Air Force and the Qatar Air Force are part of the Saudi Arabia coalition involved in the year-old Yemini Civil War. The Saudi coalition and its aircraft have been attacking Houthi rebels backed by Iran that seized power from the legitimate government in 2015.

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