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Iraq requests possible F-16 follow-on deal

Iraq could buy a second batch of 18 Lockheed Martin F-16IQs and a package of engines, sensors and weapons worth an estimated $2.3 billion, according to the US arms export agency.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress on 12 December that Iraq has requested the possible sale. The notification is mandatory, but is not a guarantee that Baghdad will sign a contract.

But such a follow-on deal has been expected since Iraq split its planned acquisition of 36 F-16IQs in half.

Iraqi air force F-16
 

The Iraqi government signed an $835 million deal with Lockheed on 5 December for 18 F-16IQs. The DSCA had notified Congress of that possible sale 15 months earlier.

The follow-on contract, if signed, would extend F-16 production well into 2014. The F-16 is also competing against the Eurofighter Typhoon for a possible deal in Oman, which already operates an initial batch of 12 F-16C/D Block 50s.

The US government has offered Iraq a similar sensor and weapons suite. The initial and potential follow-on packages include the Northrop Grumman APG-68(V)9 radar and Raytheon AIM-7M Sparrow, AIM-9L/M Sidewinder and AGM-65D Maverick missiles.

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