Kuwait’s Naval Forces Since the Gulf War
Kuwait's naval forces are based largely at El Adami and Shuwaikh. Kuwait has signed a contract to rebuild and expand its main naval base at Qalayah near Mina Sud, about 100 kilometers south of Kuwait City, which Iraq destroyed in 1990. Kuwait has a relatively small navy compared to other Gulf forces. Kuwait lost most of the 23 ships in its pre-war navy during the fighting in 1990. By early 1996, however, its navy had built back to a strength of six combatants. These ships include one FPB-57 missile patrol boat, and one TNC-45 missile patrol boat. Each of these two ships has one 76 mm OTO Melara gun, twin 40 mm guns, and four Exocet MM-40 missile launchers. Kuwait might well have benefited more from investing the same money in mine warfare capabilities, armor, or increased air power.