Kuwait’s Air Forces Since the Gulf War
Kuwait's air force consists of about 2,500 men, with 76 combat aircraft and 16 armed helicopters. Kuwait now has two air bases. Its fighters are located at its main Al Jaber Air Base. This base suffered extensive damage during the Gulf War from both Iraqi activity and US bombing that destroyed 22 of its 24 shelters. Kuwait developed a land-based air defense system with limited to moderate capabilities before the Iraqi invasion. This system used a Thomson-CSF C4I/BM system to control its fighters and IHawk missile units to integrate the data from a mix of AN/TPS-32, AR-3D, and TRS 2230 radars and two Litton AN/ASQ-73 systems to control its IHawks. Kuwait is taking steps to acquire an advanced surface-to-air missile capability. The Kuwaiti Air Force is making real progress, and US experts now rate Kuwaiti pilots as equivalent in training and skill to their US counterparts.