Kuwait to investigate $1bn Airbus helicopter deal

State audit bureau asked to check all documents related to the deal and submit a report

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 2, 2015 shows Airbus Helicopters CEO, Guillaume Faury posing for a picture in front of an Airbus Tiger military helicopter during the 23rd International Defence Industry Exhibition MSPO in Kielce, Poland. 

Airbus announced on December 15, 2017 it was planning to change its top two executives as a corruption probe into the European aircraft manufacturer rumbles on. And it also said that chief operating officer and president for commercial aircraft Fabrice Bregier will step down in February 2018 and will be replaced by the head of the helicopters unit, Guillaume Faury. / AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI
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Kuwait said on Wednesday it had ordered an investigation into a deal with aircraft maker Airbus to supply 30 Caracal military helicopters, worth US$1.19 billion, for its air force.

The announcement comes as Airbus faces several international investigations into commercial and military sales that have raised questions over the future of senior managers.

Airbus Helicopters chief executive Guillaume Faury will replace Fabrice Bregier as head of the main Airbus plane making division, two sources familiar with the decision said last week.

The French defence ministry said in August last year that Kuwait had placed the order. It came after then French president Francois Hollande was invited by Gulf Arab leaders in May 2016 to address their summit in Saudi Arabia, a rare privilege for a European leader.


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Kuwaiti state news agency Kuna quoted minister of cabinet affairs Anas Al Saleh as saying that the prime minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Hamad Al Sabah had ordered the Caracal deal to be investigated.

"It has been decided to transfer the case of the Caracal helicopter deal to the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate it and to take all the measures regarding it," Mr Al Saleh said, according to Kuna.

He also said the country's state audit bureau had been asked to check all documents related to the deal and submit a report to the cabinet.