Wed. May 22nd, 2024

The head of the Iraqi Security Media Cell (ISMC), Major General Tahseen Al-Khafaji, announced on Monday that Iraq agreed with the United States to purchase 21 multi-purpose aircraft during the recent visit of Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani to Washington.

Al-Khafaji also told the state news agency (INA) that Iraq signed a contract with the United States to purchase 12 Bell 412 multi-purpose helicopters and 9 Bell 407 helicopters.

The Iraqi official explained that the United States also provided military aid to Iraq, represented by 15 Bell 505 training helicopters and 5 Bell 412 helicopters.

The ISMC official explained that the helicopters are used by the Iraqi Air Force, emphasizing their value in supporting ground forces and conducting reconnaissance.

Al-Khafaji clarified that Iraq needed multi-purpose helicopters that can meet the requirements of air defense, ground attack, and reconnaissance and are adaptable enough to be used with ground units.

The Commander of the Iraqi Air Force, Shihab Jahid, revealed last week that a plan has been developed to diversify sources of arms, noting that the plan aims to make Iraq’s air forces able to carry out modern combat missions with the required efficiency.

Jahid’s remarks coincide with the launch of joint military exercises with the Italian Air Force.

The Iraqi Air Force Commander confirmed that the exercise improves the combat readiness of the Iraqi air forces and enhances their capabilities to counter threats in the region.

The US Department of Defense announced in mid-April that it had reached an agreement with Iraq regarding a military deal worth $550 million.

The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, and Al-Sudani discussed recently the continued cooperation between Iraq and the United States to protect sites across the country, including the Kurdistan region of Iraq, against air threats, according to a statement released by the Pentagon.

The two sides also talked about the joint efforts to address the security threats facing the two countries and the future of the international coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq.

The US Department of Defense announced on April 15 that the United States authorized the potential delivery of aviation assistance to Iraq.

A deal worth $140 million would include maintenance and training for Iraq’s C-172 and AC/RC-208 aircraft, according to a statement issued by the US Department of Defense and cited by Reuters.

The statement explained that the deal will strengthen the security of a key ally and support US foreign policy and national security, adding that the main contractor will be Northrop Grumman.

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