Kuwait has surprised Boeing by asking for information on the F-15 Silent Eagle, making it the first non-operator of classic F-15s to express an interest in the latest version of the fighter.
Paul Oliver, Boeing's vice-president for the Middle East and Africa, confirms that a Middle Eastern country that is looking to "recapitalise" its air force has expressed an interest. However, he declines to say if the country is Kuwait.
Boeing itself has been saying over the last year that the Silent Eagle is aimed primarily at the countries that operate classic F-15s, and it has been focused on promoting its F/A-18E/F to those who do not and are looking for new fighters.
The F-15 would offer an air force a longer-range strike capability, and the potential to carry a bigger weapons payload, than the F/A-18E/F.
"Right not, this potential customer is asking if it can have information about the F-15. A lot of customers are looking to recapitalise their fighters," he adds. "There are a lot of countries looking for alternative platforms to the [Lockheed Martin] F-35 in the Middle East, and this is one of those."
Kuwait operates classic Boeing F/A-18C/Ds, and Oliver says that it has been considering upgrades for those fighters. However, the country is also believed to be keen to begin an international tender for fighters. If it upgrades the classic Hornets, the new fighters would augment rather than replace them.