Kuwait Seeks to Modernize Armed Forces

During a visit to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense in November 2020, His Majesty Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah vowed to upgrade his country’s Armed Forces by modernizing weapons and equipment.  

 “We will not be skimpy nor lax in providing our military with modern weapons and vehicles and equipping it with whatever it needs to fulfill its duty to the fullest extent,” the emir said. “And we will continue to work on developing and updating training and preparedness for its personnel in all branches.”

In the decades before ascending to the throne, Sheikh Nawaf held several leadership positions relating to the security of Kuwait. He served at various times as minister of defense, deputy chief of the Kuwaiti National Guard and minister of interior. 

During his long service, Sheikh Nawaf helped modernize and develop his country’s defenses, most of which were destroyed when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded the country in 1990. 

After the liberation of Kuwait in February 1991, successive Kuwaiti governments had to rebuild state institutions. 

Among other armaments purchases, Kuwait in 2018 finalized a deal to buy 28 Super Hornets from the United States: 22 single-seat F/A-18E and six two-seat F/A-18F.

Then-U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait Alina Romanowski said that the Kuwaiti Army had contracted to buy 218 M1A2K tanks from the U.S. It is part of a U.S. commitment to ensure Kuwait’s security and help Kuwait acquire and build a state-of-the-art military that includes enhancements to doctrine, policies, organization, training, equipment and materials. 

“We are working to help Kuwait acquire state-of-the-art military equipment as part of our commitment to the country’s security,” Romanowski announced.

Sources: alkhaleejonline.net, USNI News, Office of Military Cooperation-Kuwait 

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