Iraq has requested a more than $170 million deal to support operations of its three Lockheed Martin C-130E transports, which were acquired from surplus US Air Force stocks following the removal from power of Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Now operated by the Iraqi air force's 23 Sqn from Baghdad's New Al Muthana air base, the aircraft were originally delivered to the USAF in 1963-4, according to Flight's MiliCAS database.

 Iraq C-130 1
© US Air Force

Announcing the request on 21 September, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said: "The government of Iraq needs the contractor technical support, maintenance and logistical services to maintain the operational capabilities of its C-130E aircraft."

 Iraq C-130 3
© US Air Force

Likely to run for an initial two years, the work will also cover the provision of software upgrades, spare and repair parts, countermeasures equipment and electronic warfare systems, says the DSCA.