Six years later, the Iraqi Air Force re-arms

Iraqi Air Force.jpg

The Iraqi Air Force has operated since 2003 with a motley mix of small aircraft, but nary a bullet, bomb or missile.

According to the latest quarterly report released today by the US military, that situation may have already changed.

The IqAF re-acquires the ability to strike targets on the ground in “early 2009″ with the delivery of a first batch of 20 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. The armament will likely be fired from one of 24 Bell 407 armed reconnaissance helicopters now under contract. (See page 51)

It’s a major step in the re-emergence of the IqAF’s air power capability. The government has also made noises about acquiring a range of tactical fighters, including Super Tucano turboprops, T-38 advanced jet trainers and F-16s.


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4 Responses to Six years later, the Iraqi Air Force re-arms

  1. Royce 13 January, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    Are you sure you don’t mean Hawker Beechcraft AT-6 turboprops instead of Super Tucanos?

  2. Stephen Trimble 13 January, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    oops. meant AT-6s!

  3. Dave 13 January, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    I’m not comfortable with giving the Iraqis the type of gear we’re giving them- the moment we leave all of this equipment will end up in Iranian hands.

    Do we really want to give the Iranians the Hellfire? Or worse, the F-16 so that the Iranians can try reverse engineer those too like the other equipment left over from the Shah’s regime?

    On the ground side- we’re also selling them Abrams MBTs. We’re going have to fight them sooner or later- pesimistic I know, but nonetheless probably true.

    I’d just rather not have Iranian Revolutionary Guards armed with M-1 and F-16 copies when that does happen.

  4. CALC 14 January, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Won’t the Hellfires be fired from the 208 Caravans? They’ve fitted them out for this already.

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