Monday, September 27, 2010

F-16 Fighter Deal For Iraq Progressing

Iraq has ordered several T-6 Trainers, some of which will be use to prepare pilots for the F-16 fighter
Source: Sgt. Tyrone Marshall/Wikipedia

The commander of Iraq’s Air Force recently said that negotiations with the United States for 18 F-16 fighter jets worth $4.2 billion is 75% complete. Baghdad put in the request for the planes in March 2010. In July it was announced that ten pilots would begin training on the fighters, and in mid-September three T-6 training planes arrived in Iraq from the United States to be used for further preparation. Baghdad ordered a batch of T-6s in August 2009, and received the first planes in December. Washington is moving ahead with the deal despite the objections of Kuwait and the Kurds, who are both worried that the planes will be used against them. The acquisition of the fighters would be a major step towards Iraq being able to defend itself from foreign threats.

SOURCES

Arabian Aerospace, “Iraq and Morocco deploy T-6 Trainers,” 7/20/10

Arraf, Jane, “Iraq border concerns spur effort to integrate Kurdish and Iraqi Army forces,” Christian Science Monitor, 8/23/10

Ibrahim, Haidar, “American fighter planes to arrive in Baghdad soon,” AK News, 9/25/10

Najm, Hayder, “iraq’s soldiers not ready to take over security,” Niqash, 8/19/10

Sly, Liz, “Iraq needs help defending its borders after U.S. troops leave in 2011,” Los Angeles Times, 8/12/10

Trimble, Stephen, “Iraq offered new F-16s with older missiles,” Flightglobal, 9/24/10

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