Kuwaiti Prosecutor To Investigate Corruption Allegation In Eurofighter Procurement

Italy’s Leonardo said it is not subject of a judicial investigation in relation to the Kuwait Eurofighter program.

The country signed a $9 billion order with Leonardo in 2016 for 28 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters. On Monday, Kuwait’s Anti-Corruption Authority said that a major general and colonel in the Army would face prosecutors in a major corruption case related to this purchase.

The high cost of the deal raised eyebrows when compared with similar purchases of these combat planes across the Middle East. Qatar paid an estimated $6.9 billion for two dozen of the same jets with shipments beginning next year. For a total of 72 Typhoons, Saudi Arabia paid an estimated $6 billion, albeit for an older generation of planes. It also reached a deal with the U.K. valued at some $5 billion to purchase an additional 48 planes a decade later.

The Kuwait Air Force received first two Eurofighter aircraft last month. Leonardo added that “the Eurofighter Kuwait programme is progressing in line with expectations and with success in terms of deliveries, contractual milestones and cash collections.”

“Our contractual relationship with Kuwait has always been based on the principles of maximum transparency as well as full fairness and it is regulated by a contract signed as part of a broader relationship between the institutions and the aeronautics of the two countries. Leonardo has no evidence of issues and every single transaction is promptly subject to procedures and adequacy checks,” the company said.

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