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Iraqi Air Force [IqAF] Modernization

Iraqi Air ForceBy the end of 2011 Iraq's long range goal was to acquire about 96 fighters in six squadrons, part of a full-spectrum air force with 350 aircraft and some 20,000 personnel by the year 2020. During the past few years, the Iraqi air force, which celebrated its 80th anniversary, steadily modernized its infrastructure and increased its number of personnel. At the end of 2006, the Iraqi air force had 748 airmen and 28 aircraft. By the end of 2011 there were more than 6,000 airmen and 72 aircraft, including the T-6 Texan and C-130E Hercules. During Operation New Dawn, the U.S. Air Force helped advance the Iraqi air force through mentorship, training and advising on everything from support functions to operations.

As of July 2005, the Iraqi Air Force was conducting operational missions while equipping and training. The Iraqi Air Force’s counter-insurgency missions focused on aerial observation /surveillance and air transportation. The Air Force had over 100 personnel and had a fleet of 9 helicopters (4 UH-1H and 5 Jet Ranger), 3 C-130s, and 8 single-engine propeller-driven observation airplanes (6 CompAir turboprop aircraft and 2 Seeker piston aircraft). An additional 12 UH-1H helicopters, part of the 16 given by the Jordanian government are not operational while they await an upgrade to Huey II configuration to enhance their functioning in Iraq's climate. The Jet Rangers, CH2000s and CompAir planes all needed logistics support.

The IqAF added four aircraft to the fleet at the end of 2009, and by April 2010 had a total of 102 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft.

Light Reconnaissance

A squadron of light reconnaissance aircraft became operational in the summer of 2004, with four aircraft at Basrah and expanding later, possibly to Kirkuk. This fleet was tasked with infrastructure and border security duties - reporting problems directly to the appropriate repair and intervention units.

The United Arab Emirates contributed seven CompAir SL7, which were unarmed, to the Iraqi Air Force. They are used to patrol over oil pipelines and other infrastructure targeted by the Iraqi insurgency. On May 30, 2005, one of these planes crashed near the Iranian border killing one Iraqi Air Force pilot and four others from the US Air Force. There was no indication of hostile fire.

Counter-Insurgency (COIN)

In April 2007 the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC) issued a solicitation for the Iraqi Air Force to buy at least 8 and as many as 56 counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft, with a dual role as intermediate to advanced single-engine turboprop trainers. The solicitation was limited to Korea Aerospaces KO-1 Woong Bee, the Swiss Pilatus PC-9M, the Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano/ ALX, and the Hawker Beechcrafts AT-6B Texan II. The IqAF received its first four T-6 aircraft at Tikrit in December 2009 and an additional four T-6s in February 2010. The final delivery of seven T-6s occured in December 2010, completing the IqAF T-6 inventory.

Iraq originally purchased three (3) AC-208 and three (3) C-208 aircraft in 2008. The Cessna aircraft are used to support Iraqi military operations against al-Qaeda affiliate and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces. The AC-208 armed with Hellfire missiles was the IqAFs only system with precision ground-attack capability (by early 2010 the IqAF possessed three AC-208 aircraft and 19 Hellfire missiles). The Directional Attack Guided Rocket (DAGR) weapon system mounted on three Mi-17 helicopters was scheduled for demonstration in summer 2010. The requirement by the Defense Minister to make most acquisition decisions combined with the GoI and IqAFs inexperience in acquisition budget forecasting, continued to make procurement a challenge.

On 07 October 2016 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for AC-208 aircraft and related equipment, training, and support. The estimated cost is $65.3 million. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on October 6, 2016. The Government of Iraq requests to purchase two (2) Cessna AC-208 aircraft that include: dual rail LAU-131 Hellfire launcher capability on each wing, AN/ALE-47 electronic countermeasure dispenser, AN/AAR-60 Missile Launch Warning System, AN/AAQ-35 ElectroOptical Infrared Imaging System, contractor aircraft modifications, spare parts, publication updates, aircraft ferry, and miscellaneous parts.

This proposed sale contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. This proposed sale directly supports Iraq and serves the interests of the people of Iraq and the United States. The purchase of two (2) additional aircraft enables the Iraqi Air Force to continue its fight against ISIL. Iraq will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

Trainer

On May 13, 2014 the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for AT-6C Texan II aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $790 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 13, 2014.

The Government of Iraq requested a possible sale of 24 AT-6C Texan II Aircraft, 2 spare PT-6A-68 Turboprop engines, 2 spare ALE-47 Counter-Measure Dispensing Systems and/or 2 spare AAR-47 Missile Launch Detection Systems, non-SAASM global positioning systems with CMA-4124, spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, tanker support, ferry services, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $790 million.

This proposed sale would contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. This proposed sale directly supports the Government of Iraq and serves the interests of the people of Iraq and the United States. The proposed sale of these aircraft, equipment, and support would enhance the ability of the Iraqi forces to sustain themselves in their efforts to bring stability to Iraq and to prevent overflow of unrest into neighboring countries. The proposed sale of this equipment and support would not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Helicopters

On July 25, 2013 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of 12 Bell 412 EP helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $300 million. The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of 12 Bell 412 EP helicopters equipped with Star SAFIRE III EO/IR systems, PT6T-3DF engines, KDM-706 Distance Measuring Equipment, KNR 634 VOR/LOC with MB/HSI, MST67A Transponder, Artex C406-1HM Emergency Locator Transmitter, Wulfsberg FlexComm II C5000 System with Synthesized Guard, KTR-908 Very High Frequency Radios, NAT AA-95 Audio System, 660 Weather Radar, AAI Radome, Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) Compatible Cockpit Lighting, SX-16 Nightsun, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, site surveys, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, and other related elements of program and logistics support. The estimated cost is $300 million.

This proposed sale would contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. This proposed sale directly supports the Iraq government and serves the interests of the Iraqi people and the U.S. This proposed sale would contribute to Iraqs stability and sovereignty by providing a critical component to building its Air Force and achieving air sovereignty. This equipment would provide the Iraqi Air Force with a search and rescue capability critical to developing a mature Air Force.

Air Defense

On August 5, 2013 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq of an Integrated Air Defense System and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $2.403 billion. The Government of Iraq requested a possible sale of 40 AVENGER Fire Units, 681 STINGER Reprogrammable Micro-Processor (RMP) Block I 92H Missiles, 13 AN/MPQ-64F1 SENTINEL Radars, 7 AN/YSQ-184D Forward Area Air Defense Command, Control, and Intelligence (FAAD C2I) Systems, 75 AN/VRC-92E SINCGARS Radios, 3 HAWK XXI Batteries (6 Fire Units) which include 6 Battery Fire Direction Centers, 6 High Powered Illuminator Radars, 216 MIM-23P HAWK Tactical Missiles, 2 Mobile Battalion Operation Centers (BOC), 3 HAWK XXI BOC Air Defense Consoles (ADCs), 1DS/GS Shop 20, 1 DS/GS Shop 21, 1 Mini-Certified Round Assembly Facility (MCRAF), Air Command and Control (C2) systems and surveillance radars for the Integrated Air Defense Systems that includes TPS-77 Long-Range Radars (LRR) and Omnyx-I0 Air Command and Control System, and 10 Medium Range Radars.

Also included: Ground Air Transmit Receive Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency radio capability, facilities and construction for one (1) underground Air Defense Operations Center and two (2) Air Defense Sector Operations Centers, spare and repair parts, repair and return, software support, systems integration, long haul communication technical integration, communications equipment, support equipment and sustainment, tools and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor representative engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

This proposed sale would contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country. This proposed sale directly supports the Iraqi government and serves the interests of the Iraqi people and the United States.

This proposed sale of Ground Based Air Defense Systems would help the Government of Iraq to modernize its armed forces. The proposed air defense system would provide the Iraqi Air Defense Command situational awareness of the countrys airspace and a baseline tactical radar and threat intercept capability. This capability would provide Iraq with the ability to contribute to regional air defenses and reduce its vulnerability to air attacks and also enhance interoperability between the Government of Iraq, the U.S., and other allies. The proposed sale of this equipment and support would not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors involved in this program are: Lockheed Martin Corporation, San Diego, California; Thales Raytheon Systems, Fullerton, California; Boeing Company and American General, Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Andover, Massachusetts; Northrop Grumman, Rolling Meadows, Illinois; and Kratos Defense and Aerospace, Huntsville, Alabama. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

On May 13, 2014 the State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for Aerostats and Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment tower systems and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $90 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 13, 2014. The Government of Iraq requested a possible sale of 7 Aerostats (17 meter) and 14 Rapid Aerostat Initial Deployment (RAID) Tower Systems, installation, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical data, site surveys, U.S. government and contractor technical assistance, personnel training and training equipment, and other related elements of program and logistics support. The estimated cost is $90 million.

Other Equipement

On 23 January 2014 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Iraq for AGM-114K/R Hellfire Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $82 million. The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of 500 AGM-114K/R Hellfire missiles, Hellfire missile conversion, blast fragmentation sleeves, and installation kits, containers, transportation, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.




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Page last modified: 13-11-2016 18:59:46 ZULU