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Iraqi military plans major arms purchase

Tuesday, Dec 16, 2008

The Iraqi military has ordered equipment for its forces totaling more than $6 billion, according to sales notices sent to the US Congress. The weapons will be used to upgrade the equipment used by Iraqi Security Forces and expand their capabilities for internal and external defense.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has sent eight Foreign Materials Sales Notices to Congress on Dec. 9 of potential arms sales to Iraq. The purchases were apparently funded by the Iraqi Supplemental Budget allocation passed this summer. The Iraqi Security Forces apparently chose to accelerate their equipment purchases with the surplus funds.

The Iraqi Navy's portion of these purchases doubles the number of patrol boats existing (5) or pending delivery (15) by adding 20 more. With the additional purchase of three support vessels, the Support Squadron grows to five vessels. While not adding a missile capability, this does double the gunboat component patrolling Iraq's coastline.

• 20x 30-35meter Coastal Patrol Boats.• 3x 55-60 meter Offshore Support Vessels.The Iraqi Air Force's portion of these purchases adds a training squadron and an additional armed reconnaissance helicopter squadron. It also adds two light attack squadrons or the attack component of four composite armed reconnaissance squadrons. This doubles the fixed wing training elements and almost doubles the previously reported light attack and armed reconnaissance helicopter components.

• 20 T-6A Texan trainer aircraft.• 36 AT-6B Texan II Light Attack Aircraft.• 26 Bell 407 Armed Helicopters, each equipped with a M280 2.75-inch Launcher, a XM296 .50 Cal. Machine Gun, and a M299 Hellfire Guided Missile Launcher.

The Iraqi Army's share of this budget was for personal arms and more M1 tanks. In addition to purchasing additional M16 rifles, M4 carbines, and grenade launchers to continue re-equipping the Iraqi Army with US-made personal weapons, the Iraqi Army is getting four more battalions worth of M1A1M Abrams Tanks for a total of eight tank battalions with support elements. This doubles the number of M1 tanks on order.

• 80,000 M16A4 Rifles • 25,000 M4 Carbines • 2,550 M203 40mm Grenade Launchers • 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks modified and upgraded to the M1A1M Abrams configuration • 8 M88A2 Tank Recovery Vehicles • 64 M1151A1B1 Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)• 92 M1152 Shelter Carriers • 12 M577A2 Command Post Carriers.


Source: Long War Journal

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