U.S. to Sell 21 Helicopters to Iraq

A Fruitful State Visit

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Sudani’s visit to the White House last week, the Iraqi government has announced that it has secured a purchase agreement with the U.S. for 21 light-attack and multi-role helicopters. The announcement reads below:

“The recent visit of Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani to Washington was successful by all standards, including the military aspect of armament, as Iraq contracted through this visit on 12 aircraft of the type (Bell 412) multi-purpose as well as 9 aircraft of the type (Bell 407).”

According to the Iraqi News Agency, the purchase will not go through the usual Foreign Military Sales payment method, but rather through a “flexible payment option”. Iraqi Major General Tahseen Al-Khafaji made this statement:

“These contracts adopted new payment, as Iraq and the United States previously relied on the mechanism (FMS) any payment of the full amount, but during the visit of the Prime Minister Washington relied for the first time in the field of armament on the mechanism (flexible payment) any payment in the form of meals for the amounts of aircraft.”

Current Inventory and Previous Request

These aircraft are slated to go to the Iraqi Army Aviation Command which flies a mix of U.S., Russian, and French supplied rotary-wing aircraft. Currently, this command flies (30) Bell 407s and (10) Bell 206s for multi-role missions. The Army Aviation currently owns 175 operational helicopters, including 15 attack helicopters, out of 300 purchased, including 67-114 heavy attack helicopters (it is scheduled to reach 500 helicopters).

According to the quarterly report on Operation ‘Inherent Resolve’ released by the US Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) on 7 February, the Iraqi Army Aviation Command submitted Foreign Military Sales (FMS) requests for (16) Bell 412M and (4) Bell 412EPX medium-lift helicopters to replace the IAAC’s Russian-made Mi-17s, 15 new Bell 407Ms to replace existing 407s in the light-attack role, and 15 new Bell 505 helicopters to replace the 407s and OH-58s currently used as trainers.

Tessaron
Tessaron
United States Military Academy and American Military University Alumni. Victor covers flash military, intelligence, and geo-political updates.

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