Sunday, 16 February 2020

Kuwait declines receipt of Caracal helos, Airbus unaware of any problems


Kuwait declines receipt of Caracal helos, Airbus unaware of any problems | Jane's 360

Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

14 February 2020

A Kuwaiti Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement saying that it had refused to receive two Airbus Helicopters H225M Caracal medium-lift rotorcraft on account of technical malfunctions has been denied by the manufacturer, which told Jane's on 13 February that it has received no such notification.

On 12 February the Kuwaiti MoD said that that, in response to enquiries made on the issue by national lawmakers, it was forming a "specialised technical committee" to examine the reason why a pair of H225M helicopters could not be accepted from Airbus and "to address the root causes […] to prevent a repeat. The move was made out of complete concern for the safety of air force pilots and employees."

The MoD added that, further to setting up this committee, it has suspended all deliveries "pending the conclusion of the committee's inspection of the problem and the receipt of the manufacturer's report on the malfunction suffered by some of the aircraft". The ministry will make "an appropriate decision" about resuming deliveries only once it has received assurances that no such problems will occur again the future.

In response to a comment from Jane's, an Airbus Helicopters spokesperson said, "We are aware of the [Kuwaiti statement]. We have not received any official notification from our customer and we remain at their disposal to provide support as required."

Kuwait signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters to procure the 30 H225Ms for a reported EUR1.7 billion (USD1.14 billion at the time) following a type selection that was made in mid-2015, and includes support and services. Of these, 24 will go to the Kuwaiti Air Force and six to the Kuwait National Guard to be used for combat search-and-rescue, naval operations, medical evacuation, and military transportation.

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