According to US media, the delivery of the 28 US-made F/A-18 E&F Super Hornet Block-3 fighter jets has been delayed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic since early 2020. The jets were scheduled to deliver Kuwait Air Force by the year 2022 but the pandemic has pushed the delivery and operationalization timetable of the fleet to 2023. According to reports, Kuwait also placed a purchase order of 28 Typhoon Jets being built by Italian Aerospace giant Leonardo was also scheduled for delivery to the Kuwait Air Force in December last year but was delayed due to the pandemic.
Kuwait, an oil rich tiny Arab state is massively spending on its defense preparations because of the threat jeopardizing its sovereignty as well as territorial integrity in rapidly changing geopolitical landscapes of the Middle East during recent years. The outbreak of the Arab Spring had created numerous social, political, and security problems for the regional Monarchies while the emergence of the threat from Yemeni Houthi rebels and ISIS had sensitized the regional states about their survival. Whereas public resentment against totalitarian regimes and possible repercussions of the results of the ongoing US-Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, specifically if they fail, are also posing a potential threat to the whole region. In fact, feeble nations always face an existential threat to their security and suffer harassment from their neighbours whether friends or foes, however, weak nations always need external support from great power to counterbalance the adversary. Currently, the state of Kuwait is also passing through a crucial phase and has been struck between powerful nations in the region and endeavoring to strengthen its military capability at its best. Earlier, Kuwait had lost its sovereignty to an Iraqi dictator in 1991 and regained its independence with the help of the global community. Although Kuwait is an important member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), this forum is unable to protect it against any powerful invader, and the state of Kuwait is compelled to take necessary measures to protect itself from foreign aggression.
Currently, Kuwait is enhancing its defense capabilities through the establishment of new military bases, procurement, and diversification of military hardware as well as training of personnel in modern warfare. Kuwait had acquired American F/A-18E&F Super Hornet fighter jets and Eurofighter Typhoons to meet its defense requirements. Presently, several GCC states are using these fighter aircraft and Kuwait opted for the same technology to enhance interoperability and facilitation of maintenance operation along with other regional states.
According to experts, Kuwait Air Force is actively pursuing its modernization plan embarked in back 2016, alongside expansion in its aircraft fleets and military infrastructure, however, pandemic restrictions had delayed its projects almost by one and half years. Kuwait is also considering the induction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for attack and reconnaissance missions to achieve Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the days ahead. Apparently, Kuwaiti leadership is trying to maintain a qualitative edge to overcome the issue of numbers. While choosing two different variants, Kuwaiti military strategists successfully ended their dependency on a single nation and also achieved the quality of interoperability with their allies. Although Kuwait is a small nation, it has no scarcity of resources and proficient leadership and can defeat all challenges successfully.