WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved a possible $10.1 billion foreign military sale of 40 F/A-18 aircraft to the government of Kuwait.
The potential purchase includes 32 F/A-18E fighters and 8 F/A-18F aircraft. If Congress approves the whole package, Kuwait will also receive spare engines and modules, 41 AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array radars, 44 M61A2 20mm gun systems, and other supporting equipment.
In a statement announcing the State Department's approval, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency adds Kuwaiti military personnel will also have access to engineering and program support as well as U.S. government and contractor engineering services.
The agency said the potential sale will bolster defensive capabilities for a major non-NATO ally, adding this will lead to political and economic progress in the region.
The Boeing-made F/A-18 Hornet attack aircraft was the first strike fighter designed for the United States Armed Forces. The craft was built for both traditional strike operations in addition to close air support. If the foreign military sale to the government of Kuwait is approved, the country will use the aircraft for homeland defense in addition to replacing aging aircraft.
Prime contractors for the sale include Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Electric.