Aircraft, other equipment sought by Iraq

Iraq has asked the United States for attack aircraft, aerostats and armored vehicles, with a combined worth of nearly $1 billion, through the Foreign Military Sales program.

By Richard Tomkins
Aircraft, other equipment sought by Iraq
The pilot training variant of Beechcraft's AT-6. (U.S. Air Force photo/M Sgt. David Richards)

WASHINGTON, May 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. military has notified Congress of proposed Foreign Military Sales deals for Iraq, which if approved would be worth nearly $1 billion.

The most expensive package is for 24 AT-6C Texan II aircraft, a single-engine turboprop light attack variant of Beechcraft Corporation's trainer aircraft. It has a cruise speed of 380 miles per hour.


The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said the deal includes spare engines, counter-measure dispensing systems, spare and repair parts, maintenance, support equipment, personnel training and logistics support.

Principal contractors if the deal is approved would be Beechcraft Defense Company, Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, CAE USA, Pratt & Whitney, Hartzell Propeller, Canadian Marconi, L-3COM Wescam, and Martin Baker of Britain.

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"The proposed sale of these aircraft, equipment, and support will 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," DSCA said.

The government of Iraq, located next to war-torn Syria, is battling resurgent Islamist terrorists.

Iraq has also requested the sale of 200 M1151A1 Up-Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles, commonly known as Humvees, armed with .50 caliber machine guns, as well as associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $101 million.

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"The proposed sale of the M1151 HMMWV's would facilitate progress towards increasing Iraq's ability to defend its oil infrastructure against terrorist attacks," the agency said. "Iraq will use the HMMWVs to increase the safety, effectiveness, and self-reliance of the Iraqi Army's Oil Pipeline Security Division."

The main contractor would be AM General.

The third Foreign Military Sale proposal is for seven aerostats and 14 rapid aerostat initial deployment tower systems. The balloon systems, used for surveillance, and their associated equipment, carry a price tag of about $90 million.

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Raytheon would be the principal contractor.

DSCA said the U.S. State Department has given their approval for the sales.

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