Kuwait to join the Patriot chain
Kuwait is to follow the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain in installing the Raytheon Patriot missile system into its defence programme.
The US government has confirmed it has approved plans to sell Kuwait its lates anti-ballistic missile system to meet "current and future threats". the deal is beleived to be worth around $900 million
The Defense Security Co-operation Agency told Congress in a notice that Kuwait was seeking as many as 209 of the MIM-104E Patriot Guidance Enhanced Missile-T (GEM-T) interceptors.
"This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-Nato ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East," the DCSA said on its website.
"Kuwait needs these missiles to meet current and future threats of enemy air-to-ground weapons. Kuwait will use the increased capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defence."
The deal has been in the offing for some time since test firings were held at the Udairi Range in Kuwait back in January.
The test firings used a Kuwait Patriot Configuration-2 Plus fire unit with Guidance Enhanced Missiles as the interceptors, which are operated and maintained by Kuwait Air Defense brigade troops. The Patriot system successfully engaged and destroyed two Patriot-as-a-Target missiles, as well as three foreign Multiple Launch Rocket System-type targets, both configurations emulating tactical ballistic missiles.
The exercise was observed by senior officials from the Kuwaiti and U.S. governments, including Kuwait Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sheikh Ahmad Al-Khaled Al-Sabah.
"This test firing showcased the lethal capabilities of the combat-proven Patriot Air and Missile Defense System against tactical ballistic missiles, as well as the strong alliance among the Kuwait Air Defense Forces, the U.S. government and Raytheon in maintaining the readiness and effectiveness of Patriot in Kuwait," said Skip Garrett, vice president and deputy for Patriot Programs, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS).
"To support our 12 partner nations globally, Patriot continues to add capabilities to counter emerging threats, while providing increased system reliability and reduced life-cycle cost," Garrett said.