ABU DHABI ø Kuwait canceled an estimated $2.5
billion worth of military projects as part of a revision of defense needs in
wake of the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime in neighboring Iraq.
A Kuwaiti opposition parliamentarian said the Defense Ministry has
canceled several programs, including a $1.2 billion project to procure a
command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, or C4I,
system. The C4I project was abandoned, the parliamentarian said, because it
was not deemed as suitable for the sheikdom's defense.
Since 1999, companies from both Britain and the United States have
competed for the C4I project, Middle East Newsline reported. They included BAe Systems and Lockheed Martin,
which have formed a consortium to win the project. Raytheon has headed a
Nasser Al Sane, the parliamentarian, said the Defense Ministry also
scrapped a $240 million project to procure British armored vehicles for the
National Guard. Al Sane said the ministry determined that the armored
vehicles did not fulfill Kuwaiti requirements.
"The Defense Ministry officially notified parliament that the C4I system
and the armored vehicles deal have been removed from the procurement plan,"
Al Sane said.
Al Sane has been regarded as the leading gadfly of Kuwait's major
defense procurement projects, particularly from Britain, France and the
United States. Al Sane and his colleagues have argued that Kuwait's military
requires better training and technical skills rather than major weapons
In a briefing on July 4, Al Sane detailed the process that led to the
Kuwaiti rejection of the C4I project. He said a Defense Ministry report
determined that the proposed C4I system required significant modifications
to ensure integration with the sheikdom's current system.
In the first phase of the proposed C4I deal, Al Sane said, the Defense
Ministry envisioned spending $600 million to modify the C4I system to
achieve interoperability with the sheikdom's current command and control
system. The parliamentarian said the ministry concluded that this was too
Another factor in the cancellation was the revision of Kuwait's defense
requirements. Al Sane said the ministry determined that Kuwait no longer
needed a C4I system in wake of the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime.
The sheikdom had envisioned a C4I system to help protect Kuwait's border
As a result, the parliamentarian said, Kuwaiti negotiations with the key
bidders of the C4I system were halted in early 2004.