Kuwaiti Air Force Typhoons are going to be the most advanced in service among the eight Eurofighter operators.
On Oct. 15, 2021, the first two Eurofighter Typhoon jets destined to Kuwait made their first flight at Leonardo’s Caselle plant near Turin, northwestern Italy.
The two aircraft were given the Italian experimental serials CSX55243 and CSX55244 but they will become KT001 and KT002 once in service with the Kuwaiti Air Force. The aircraft currently sport the flag of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti Air Force insignia and a medium grey paint scheme that, under certain lighting conditions, seems quite similar to the one of the German Air Force Typhoons.
Ace aviation photographer Alessandro Maggia took the shots of the new aircraft as they taxied and took off for their first local test sortie inside the R64 and R64bis restricted airspaces.
Kuwait is set to receive 28 Typhoons: 22 single-seater and 6 twin-seats. The Typhoons will be equipped with the first variant of the Captor E AESA radar, the ECRS Mk 0, together with P3Eb (Phase 3 Enhancements Package b) multi-role features and the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, in what is considered the most advanced Typhoon ever produced. This specific configuration was developed and tested in Italy using the Typhoon ISPA 6 (Instrumented Series Production Aircraft).
The contract for 28 aircraft was inked in April 2016 after a first MoU had been signed in September 2015. Deliveries were initially set to be completed in 2023 but it’s not clear whether the plan is still the initial one. Kuwait will be the eight Eurofighter operator, after Austria, Italy, Germany, Spain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UK.
The Kuwaiti Air Force has been flying with an F/A-18C/D single-type frontline since the retirement of Mirage F1Ks and A-4KUs Skyhawks after the Gulf War. However it will soon return to a two-type frontline with an order also for 28 Super Hornets, order in 2018, with the same mix of single and two-seaters: 22 F/A-18Es and 6 F/A-18Fs.
H/T to our friend Matteo Buono for the heads-up and a big thank you to Alessandro Maggia for the shots. Make sure to visit his Instagram account for more amazing photographs here: @alessandro_maggia_avphotos
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.