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Defense News: Iraq seeks French drones and jets, additional Russian tanks

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Defense News has reported that “Iraq’s military is seeking several defense systems of different origins, including French jets, drones, and artillery, as well as Russian T-90 tanks, with some ongoing negotiations reaching an advanced stage.”, citing Norman Ricklefs, former adviser to Iraq’s interior minister and to the secretary-general of the MoD.

Defense News also reports that France and Pakistan have offered combat drones to Iraq and the Iraqi military is assessing both offers.

Read More: Indonesia orders 42 Rafale fighter jets to modernize country’s air force

Iraqi Military is also looking to increase the main battle tank fleet. Currently, Iraq is operating Russian T-90 and American Abram Tanks. As per the SIPRI database, Iraq received 146 M-1A1 Abrams in 2010-2015. According to Norman Ricklefs, Iraq ordered 73 T-90 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) in 2016 and Iraqi is looking to order more tanks.

“The T-90 and its modifications remain the backbone of the Russian tank export. This reliable, modern and having the superb combat power tank has the positive combat track record. It is equipped with the cutting edge dynamic and active protection and the latest fire control system. Russian News Agency TASS reports.

The Iraqi MoD announced in June 2018 that, as part the order’s first batch, 39 of those T-90S tanks were delivered to the 9th Division’s 35th Brigade. This brigade was equipped with M1 Abrams tanks, but they were transferred to the 34th Brigade after the T-90 delivery, the ministry has said.

Ricklefs told Defense News that the Iraqi Military is still analyzing the Pakistani offer of 20 Drones. Moreover, Iraqi Air Force is nearing the purchase of Super Mushshak fighter/trainer aircraft.”

Global Defense Insight noted that, Iraqi Air Force is already operating 15-25 Super Mushshak trainer aircrafts. So now Iraqi Air Force is looking to increase this fleet up to 40 aircraft. Moreover, Iraq has 34 F-16 fighting falcons and around 20 Su-25 combat aircrafts.

 

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