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RMAF to Visit Kuwait Next Month, Negotiating Acquisition of Arab Nation’s F/A-18D

RMAF Chief Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan stated that the F/A-18D (Hornet) aircraft owned by the Kuwaiti Air Force are still in good condition and have lower operational hours compared to the existing fleet of Hornet aircraft in the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is set to visit Kuwait next month for discussions with the Kuwaiti Air Force to acquire their F/A-18D Hornet fighter jets.

RMAF Chief Tan Sri Mohd Asghar Khan Goriman Khan stated that Kuwait’s F/A-18D Hornets are in good condition with low operational hours compared to RMAF’s existing fleet.

He expressed hope for the acquisition despite Kuwait’s need to maintain and upgrade its current Hornets due to delays in the delivery of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets purchased by Kuwait.

Kuwait currently possesses 39 F/A-18D Hornets, comprising single and two-seater aircraft.

“The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) still holds hope of acquiring the F/A-18D Hornet fighter jets, despite the Arab nation’s need to maintain and upgrade its existing Hornet aircraft due to delays in the delivery of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets purchased by Kuwait.”

Hornet
Kuwaiti’s Air Force F/A-18 Hornet

 

“Kuwait currently possesses 39 of these F/A-18D Hornets, comprising single and two-seater aircraft. Therefore, during the upcoming visit, both RMAF and the Malaysian government will determine the required number of aircraft,” he told local media today

 During the upcoming visit, RMAF and the Malaysian government will determine the number of aircraft needed.

This issue resurfaces despite Kuwait’s previous request to the United States for maintenance and upgrade of its Hornets, valued at US$1.8 billion, due to delays in the delivery of the Super Hornets.

Kuwait plans to continue using its Hornets until it receives the Super Hornets it has purchased.

The U.S. State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sales (FMS) agreement with Kuwait worth US$1.8 billion for engineering and maintenance work, including software upgrades, engine component upgrades, engine and aircraft spare parts repairs, and others.

Hornet

This maintenance and upgrade work on Kuwait’s Hornets suggests that the Middle Eastern country may not yet be ready to part with its Hornets, either to Malaysia or other parties.

Last March, the Ministry of Defense expressed its hope to acquire used F/A-18C/D Hornets from Kuwait, but this desire was stalled due to a lack of commitment from the Kuwaiti government.

Former Defense Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan, also known as “Tok Mat,” mentioned that despite being used, Kuwait’s F/A-18C/D Hornets are still usable because their flying hours are low and have been upgraded.

Malaysia plans to purchase Kuwait’s F/A-18 C/D Hornets as a stop-gap measure before acquiring new MRCA aircraft for the RMAF.

Kuwait decided to retire its F/A-18 C/D aircraft after acquiring F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets and Eurofighter Typhoons.

TUDM
RMAF’s F/A-18 Hornet

 

To replace its F/A-18C/D Hornets, Kuwait will received 28 Super Hornets, consisting of 22 single-seat F/A-18E and six two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets, which will operate from Ahmed al-Jaber Air Base.

In addition to the Super Hornets, Kuwait also bought 28 Eurofighter Typhoons developed by BAE Systems, estimated at US$8.7 billion.

In 2021, then Deputy Defense Minister Datuk Seri Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz stated that the Ministry of Defense planned to negotiate with Kuwait to acquire 33 Hornet fighter jets from the Middle Eastern country “lock, stock and barrel.” — DSA

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