American defense contractors are set to enjoy revenues of nearly $4.7 billion from Iraq, according to a series of arms sales notifications by the Pentagon to Congress in the past two weeks. The potential sales include an integrated air defense system worth $2.4 billion and 30 Bell 412EP helicopters worth $300 million. The deals include training and support.
The air defense system includes Raytheon Hawk medium-range SAMs; Boeing Avenger self-propelled short-range SAMs; Raytheon Stinger portable SAMs; Lockheed Martin TPS-77 long-range surveillance radars; and Thales Raytheon Systems Sentinel 3-D radars. “The proposed air defense system will provide the Iraqi Air Defence Command [with] situational awareness of the country’s airspace and a baseline tactical radar and threat intercept capability,” said the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).
The Bell 412EPs will be equipped with FLIR Systems Star Safire III EO/IR sensors, as well as sophisticated avionics and communications systems. “This equipment will provide the Iraqi Air Force with a search-and-rescue capability [that is] critical to developing a mature force,” said the DSCA.
The other proposed sales include Stryker reconnaissance vehicles, radio systems and maintenance support to vehicles already in the Iraqi inventory. The DSCA claims that the various sales will help improve the security of a strategic partner country to the U.S. Iraq continues to suffer from chronic political instability and insurgency; according to United Nations statistics, last month alone some 1,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks within Iraq.