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New Iraqi Air Force Equipment - 2005 Study

Most of Iraq's Air Force was destroyed during Operation Iraqi Freedom during early 2003, and all remaining equipment was junked in the immediate aftermath of the war. None of the aircraft acquired during Saddam's time remained in service.

US Central Command Air Forces (USCENTAF) conducted starting 17 November 2005 a comparative aircraft analysis of airborne platforms available for possible procurement by the Iraqi National Government for use by the Iraqi Air Force (IqAF) to conduct current operations. The results of this analysis will assist the IqAF decision to request proposals for procurement of airborne platforms for use in Iraq.

To facilitate an evaluation of potential solutions, or technology, for USCENTAF's comparative aircraft analysis for the IqAF, this Request for Information (RFI) solicited information from companies who are able to provide full or partial materiel solutions which may involve design, development, prototype(s), developmental and operational testing, and production of end items to offer solutions or added capabilities for the IqAF. This RFI was not a formal solicitation nor did it constitute a current or future US government requirement.

In coordination with the IqAF, USCENTAF has conducted a strategy-to-task analysis of IqAF mission needs and developed critical fixed-wing mission requirements for all IqAF mission areas. The purpose of the proposed Iraqi procurement will be to acquire, operate and sustain cost-effective and versatile manned platforms to support these critical fixed-wing mission requirements. The primary expected tasks, minimum specific requirements, and desired capabilities for each platform considered is defined for each mission area.

The minimum expectation for the possible IqAF procurement is that the selected contractor will deliver and provide support for platforms that are new at the time of purchase, or used with a "zero-time" power plant and other mission elements. Although specific reliability and maintainability characteristics vary per mission area, nominally each proposed platform should support a system operations tempo (OPTEMPO) of 8 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, with an aircraft availability rate of ninety percent (90%) Mission Capable (MC) for completion of day and night missions under Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). Platforms must be capable of sustaining an eighty percent (80%) Fully Mission Capable (FMC) rate for the completion of missions under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), in the environmental conditions expected in the Iraqi Theatre of Operations (i.e. up to 50-degrees Celsius). All proposed platforms must have an Environmental Control System (ECS) that provides cabin air conditioning.

All proposed aircraft shall be approved for operation in day/night, and be capable of operations in (IMC) (not in icing conditions). All aircraft should have dual sets of flight controls and be capable of operation from soft fields and remote sites and use military or commercial jet fuel. All proposed systems must be certified to a minimum Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR Part 23 standard, or equivalent international certification, and possess the following general characteristics: 1) Allow for new technology insertion. 2) Be supportable throughout the systems projected life cycle. 3) Have low life cycle support (LCS) costs. 4) Be capable of sustaining mission operations availability rates of ninety percent (90%) MC for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations and eighty percent (80%) FMC for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations. The system must be capable of sustainment with a minimum of maintenance and ground footprint.

The Communications suite shall consist of internal crew intercom and the ability to communicate to Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities and operational agencies, both line of sight (LOS) and beyond line of sight (BLOS) via voice on: 1) Civil/ Military VHF Voice 118 - 174 MHz 2) Military UHF Voice 225 - 400 MHz 3) Civil UHF Voice 430 - 470 MHz (Iraqi Police operate in the 450-470MHz range). 4) Civil HF with Automatic Link Establishment (ALE Capability). 1.5-30 MHz The voice communications system shall have the capability to be upgraded to accommodate secure voice communications.

The aircraft navigation system, in addition to standard IFR navigation systems, shall include civil-code Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment for reporting and navigation. The aircraft shall be equipped with an encoding transponder for ATC identification and for operations within civil and military ATC infrastructure.

Under the proposed procurement plan, the Contractor will be required to assist in the design of an Integrated Logistics Support program to include: 1) Creating a technical maintenance program based on OEM recommendations and Commercial and Non Developmental Item (CaNDI) documentation. The program shall conform to requirements set forth by the Airworthiness Authority (AA). The maintenance program shall use an Organizational level maintenance concept with major repair or overhaul accomplished at AA approved overhaul facilities. 2) Designing of a recommended spare parts package to support the desired operations tempo (OPTEMPO) of eight hours per day per aircraft to support a 24/7, 365-day mission. Providing to the Iraqi Government the approved spare parts inventory, general and special test/analysis equipment, tool kits and special tools that may be required for line maintenance. 3) Providing technical maintenance manuals, parts manuals, and inventory documentation to support the recommended parts, tools and test equipment upon first delivery. 4) Providing all manuals and software products required for LCS of the fielded systems upon first delivery. 5) Providing a maintenance program designed to support the repair and/or replacement of system components to include the depot level maintenance and inspections prescribed by the FAA and the OEM. 6) Planning the maintenance concept to take maximum advantage of parts standardization, interchangeability, and commonality; to minimize the number and types of required spares.

Under the proposed procurement plan, the selected contractor will be required to provide an initial maintenance and aircrew training program to include: 1) Maintenance: Design a Program of Instruction (POI) and provide initial training for maintenance personnel. All training of maintenance technicians shall be In Accordance With (IAW) the contractor's proposed training plan and shall follow "Best Commercial Practices". The POI shall include instructions for diagnostic troubleshooting and maintenance for the aircraft and mission specific systems (airframe, engine, avionics, and mission systems). The maintenance training shall be to the standard required for daily turnaround and manufacturer's recommended inspections and maintenance. The training and training materials shall be available in English and also in the user's language insofar as possible. The training package shall include meals and housing accommodation at the contractor's location 2) Aircrew: Provide a Pilot Aircraft Qualification Course (AQC) that provides training to a standard commensurate with the mission and the safe operation of the aircraft. All pilots AQC training shall be IAW Best Commercial Practices and the contractors proposed training plan. The AQC may assume previous qualified pilot experience with a minimum of specialized equipment training. The AQC shall include emergency/abnormal procedures training. The training shall be provided by certified flight instructors (CFI), or equivalent, and students must demonstrate proficiency in VMC/ IMC navigation and flight competency. The training package shall include meals and housing accommodations at the contractor's location.

Command and Control (C2) mission includes the ability to conduct tasks such as airborne battle management, communications relay (LOS/BLOS), conduct duties as On-Scene Commander and mission director, and disseminate tactical information in a timely and accurate manner. System shall be capable of integrated joint operations and accessing and fusing pertinent tactical intelligence and information. Proposed platforms should be capable of dual flight controls with minimum flight crew of one pilot. Minimum mission crew of one mission director and one radio operator. Minimum employment altitude of 10,000 ft MSL. Able to transmit/receive simultaneously on 3 radios (VHF, UHF, and HF). Desired capabilities include Multi-mission capable, availability of EO/IR sensor (and sensor operator), NVG compatible, digital data link capable, ECS to include cabin pressurization, able to transmit/receive simultaneously on 5 radios (VHF, FM, 2 UHF, and HF). Initial Operating Capability (IOC) would be two operating locations with total of 6 aircraft in the first two years.

Special Assigned Airlift Mission (SAAM) includes the ability to conduct Very Important Personnel (VIP) and Distinguished Visitor (DV) airlift, airland, and other high priority airlift missions as directed by the Iraqi National Government to ensure effective governance of all provinces within Iraq. Two classes of airlift capability are sought -- light lift class with ability to carry 15 passengers or less and a medium lift class capable of transporting between 15 and 25 passengers. Proposed platforms for both classes should be capable of Short field Takeoff and Landing (STOL). They should be aapable of LOS/BLOS communication with airborne assets, ground forces, and police forces, and able to transmit/receive simultaneously on 3 radios (VHF, UHF, and HF). Defensive systems would include easily removable armor protection, passive/active IR threat suppression and countermeasures. Desired capabilities include IqAF fleet commonality, multi-mission capable, multi-engine, secondary navigation systems, comfort package for executive travel, defensive systems to include self sealing internal fuel tanks. IOC would be one operating location with total of 4 aircraft in the first two years.

Air Transport includes the ability to conduct airlift of cargo and personnel, airdrop, airland, forward operating location re-supply, and medical/casualty evacuation. Two classes of airlift capability are sought--light lift class with ability to carry 15 passengers or less and a medium lift class capable of transporting between 15 and 25 passengers. For the light lift class, the required range is 750 Nautical Miles (NM) with STOL capability. For the medium lift class, the required range is 1500 NM. For both classes, Capable of LOS/BLOS communication with airborne assets, ground forces, and police forces. Defensive systems to include passive/active IR threat suppression and countermeasures. b) Desired capabilities: Multi-mission capable, defensive systems with self sealing internal fuel tanks, NVG compatible. Medium lift class should be rolling stock capable. IOC would be one operating location with total of 6 aircraft in the first two years.

Light Attack mission provides a strike capability to effectively conduct all airborne offensive counter insurgency operations. Specific mission tasks include Close Air Support (CAS), Air Interdiction (AI), Strike Control and Armed Reconnaissance (SCAR), air and ground armed escort and forward air control. Proposed platforms should be capable of employing a variety of air-to-ground weapons and munitions, up to an employment altitude of 10,000 ft AGL, including a gun (forward or side firing), unguided rockets, unguided free-fall munitions, and battlefield illumination devices. Capable of LOS/BLOS communication with airborne assets, ground forces, and police forces. Able to transmit/receive simultaneously on 3 radios (VHF, UHF, and HF). Defensive systems to include armor protection, passive/active IR threat suppression and countermeasures. Desired capabilities include NVG compatible, STOL, EO/IR targeting sensor, situational awareness datalink, loiter time in excess of 4 hours at normal combat loads. Capable of employing precision guided munitions. IOC would consist of two operating locations with total of 12 aircraft in the first three years.

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) manned platform would provide aerial ISR by IqAF personnel as deemed necessary by the Iraqi Government. The primary expected task for the platform is the surveillance of infrastructure elements, which will allow for timely reporting of potential threats, tampering, and malfunctions of essential infrastructure elements in divergent areas throughout the country. The aircraft must have an agile and stealthy profile to allow its aircrew to identify potential threats and avoid ground fire and other threats to low-flying aircraft. The aircraft must also have a communications suite that will allow reporting to the proper authorities. The proposed platform must either be new at the time of purchase, or used with a "zero-time" power plant and other mission elements.

It must be able to maintain day and night aerial surveillance of point and linear targets (e.g. convoys, military supply routes (MSRs), electrical, communications and oil infrastructure), with the capability to: 1) Visually detect and inspect disruption of or threats to the national infrastructure nodes and lines of operation. 2) Monitor national borders and coastlines. 3) Provide timely information on the nature of the threat, surrounding terrain and tactical situation to all tasked security forces. 4) Immediately report observations using both line-of-sight (LOS) and beyond-line-of sight (BLOS) voice communications. 5) Assist in the rapid repair of key infrastructure by timely notification of proper authorities in the event of damage or disruption.

The minimum expectation for the possible IqAF procurement is that the selected contractor will deliver and provide support for an aerial platform and surveillance system which has reliability and maintainability characteristics that support a system operations tempo (OPTEMPO) of 8 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year, with an aircraft availability rate of ninety percent (90%) Mission Capable (MC) for completion of an 8-hour mission under Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC). The system must be capable of sustaining an eighty percent (80%) Fully Mission Capable (FMC) rate for the completion of an 8-hour mission under Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), in the environmental conditions expected in the Iraqi Theatre of Operations (i.e. up to 50-degrees Celsius). The system must have an environmental control system that provides cabin air conditioning.

The system must be certified to a minimum Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) FAR Part 23 standard, or equivalent international certification, and posses the following characteristics: 1) Allow for new technology insertion. 2) Be supportable throughout the systems projected life cycle. 3) Have low life cycle support (LCS) costs. 4) Be capable of sustaining mission operations availability rates of ninety percent (90%) MC for Visual Flight Rules (VFR) operations and eighty percent (80%) FMC for Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations. The system must be capable of sustainment with a minimum of maintenance and ground footprint.

The aircraft shall be capable of safe patrol speeds at an employment altitude of 10,000 feet MSL in a low-maintenance, low-fatigue airframe capable of loitering in excess of 5 hours while maintaining a 45-minute fuel reserve. It shall be approved for operation in day/night (Night VMC), and be capable of operations in (IMC) (not in icing conditions). It shall be capable of operations within a minimum radius of two hundred (200) nautical miles and posses a low visual, audio and thermal signature. Operation will be with a minimum two man crew (pilot and observer) and shall have at least 0.2 cubic meters of storage capability. The aircraft shall have dual sets of flight controls, be capable of operation from soft fields and remote sites and use military or commercial jet fuel.

The Sensor Suite shall consist of visible and infrared (IR) sensors with minimum vibration and unobstructed field of view, capable of recognizing a man-sized target under light-levels as low as 10'3 Lux at 8km range from 5000ft+ AGL. The sensor suite shall be capable of viewing in real-time, off-boresight to a minimum of 20 laterally, as well as to digitally record sensor information, with automated time and position data, for post-flight analysis and action.

The Communications suite shall consist of internal crew intercom and the ability to communicate to Air Traffic Control (ATC) facilities and operational agencies, both line of sight (LOS) and beyond line of sight (BLOS) via voice on: 1) Civil/ Military VHF Voice 118 - 174 MHz 2) Military UHF Voice 225 - 400 MHz 3) Civil UHF Voice 430 - 470 MHz (Iraqi Police operate in the 450-470MHz range). 4) Civil HF with Automatic Link Establishment (ALE Capability). 1.5-30 MHz The voice communications system shall have the capability to be upgraded to accommodate secure voice communications.

The aircraft navigation system, in addition to standard IFR navigation systems, shall include civil-code Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment for reporting and navigation. The aircraft shall be equipped with an encoding transponder for ATC identification and for operations within civil and military ATC infrastructure.

Under the proposed procurement plan, the Contractor will be required to assist in the design of an Integrated Logistics Support program to include: 1) Creating a technical maintenance program based on OEM recommendations and Commercial and Non Developmental Item (CaNDI) documentation. The program shall conform to requirements set forth by the Airworthiness Authority (AA). The maintenance program shall use an Organizational level maintenance concept with major repair or overhaul accomplished at AA approved overhaul facilities. 2) Designing of a recommended spare parts package to support the desired operations tempo (OPTEMPO) of eight hours per day per aircraft to support a 24/7, 365-day mission. Providing to the Iraqi Government the approved spare parts inventory, general and special test/analysis equipment, tool kits and special tools that may be required for line maintenance. 3) Providing technical maintenance manuals, parts manuals, and inventory documentation to support the recommended parts, tools and test equipment upon first delivery. 4) Providing all manuals and software products required for LCS of the fielded systems upon first delivery. 5) Providing a maintenance program designed to support the repair and/or replacement of system components to include the depot level maintenance and inspections prescribed by the FAA and the OEM. 6) Planning the maintenance concept to take maximum advantage of parts standardization, interchangeability, and commonality; to minimize the number and types of required spares.

Under the proposed procurement plan, the selected contractor will be required to provide an initial maintenance and aircrew training program to include designing a Program of Instruction (POI) and provide initial training for maintenance personnel. All training of maintenance technicians shall be In Accordance With (IAW) the contractor's proposed training plan and shall follow "Best Commercial Practices". The POI shall include instructions for diagnostic troubleshooting and maintenance for the aircraft and surveillance systems (airframe, engine, avionics, and sensor systems). The maintenance training shall be to the standard required for daily turnaround and manufacturer's recommended inspections and maintenance. The training and training materials shall be available in English and also in the user's language insofar as possible. The training package shall include meals and housing accommodation at the contractor's location.

The Pilot Aircraft Qualification Course (AQC) provides training to a standard commensurate with the mission and the safe operation of the aircraft. All pilots AQC training shall be IAW Best Commercial Practices and the contractors proposed training plan. The AQC may assume previous qualified pilot experience with a minimum of specialized equipment training. The AQC shall include emergency/abnormal procedures training. The training shall be provided by certified flight instructors (CFI), or equivalent, and students must demonstrate proficiency in VMC/ IMC navigation and flight competency. The training package shall include meals and housing accommodations at the contractor's location.

Additional Desired Capabilities include a multi-mission aircraft capable of conducting additional counter insurgency missions such as light/medium airlift, VIP transport, casualty evacuation or light close air support. 2) Service ceiling greater than 15,000 ft MSL 3) Aircraft capable of Short Field Takeoff and Landings (STOL) 4) EO/IR sensors with NIIRs quality of 5+ at altitude of 20,000MSL and below 5) Sensor images downlinkable real-time within LOS to a ground receiver 6) EO/IR sensor capable of search, track, LASER marking and LASER designation 7) Fully-compatible NVG cockpit lighting.

The proposed Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is defined as establishing two operating locations within two years with a minimum of 8 platforms operating per location.



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