Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/05/2014 -- BMI's Kuwait Defence & Security Report for Q114 examines the country's strategic position in the Middle East and globally. Kuwait continues to have a close defence relationship with the US and has reportedly increased the number of service personnel receiving training in foreign academies. In the last quarter, Kuwait has had yet another election, leading to the appointment of a new defence minister. Despite this - and ongoing sectarian tensions linked to the conflict in Syria - overall stability is such that continued defence links with the US and Western arms contractors will be maintained.
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The report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement and the order of battle across its armed forces. BMI's general conclusion is that Kuwait remains vulnerable to regional instability, both due to the civil war in Syria and also the possible consequences of any US/Israeli attack on Iran.
Kuwait still has a very weak domestic defence industry, although August 2013 reports that Kuwait Aerospace Technologies was working to test UAV technology with a Swedish firm seem to have bucked this trend. Nevertheless, the country is attempting to increase its military profile. In late September 2013, Kuwait hosted the first Annual Military Logistics conference, with a range of foreign militaries represented, as well as US defence major Raytheon.
Over the last quarter, Kuwait thanked neighbouring Saudi Arabia for its hosting of 30 Kuwaiti personnel at a military academy. This brings the number of Kuwaiti military staff receiving training at overseas institutions to over 100.
Regionally, Iran's covert ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes continue to guide the security debate in the Gulf, with a growing interest in developing some form of collective missile defence. Having already spelled out its future military commitment to the region, the US is now pushing for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to start integrating their separate missile defence systems to create a region-wide missile shield.
Although defence co-operation has generally been quite basic, even between allied states in the Gulf, momentum now appears to be building towards a new US-GCC missile defence framework. For US contractors that build missile defence systems - this chiefly includes Raytheon and Lockheed Martin - lucrative orders are anticipated from the Gulf states.
Over the last quarter, BMI has revised the following issues:
- The delivery of long-mooted Patriot ballistic missile (PAC-3) technologies is now 'imminent', according to reports coming from the Paris Air Show.
- The security outlook for Kuwait in the light of its continuing financial support for the post-Morsi military-led regime in Egypt.
- The impact of predicted GDP growth on defence spending.
- Updated defence data on expenditure, imports, exports and manpower.
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