The U.S. government said this week that it will expedite foreign military sales (FMS) to Iraq, including deliveries of small UAVs and Hellfire missiles, to help stem spiraling violence in Anbar Province. The weaponry is part of a “holistic” strategy the U.S. and Iraqi governments are pursuing to dislodge al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, officials said.
Iraqi Air Force
Demand at Beechcraft for special-mission variants of the King Air is growing at a rate the Wichita OEM finds at least gratifying and at most downright exciting.
Beechcraft has sold more than 50 King Air twin turboprops for special missions this year, according to Dan Keady, the company’s senior v-p for special missions. “That’s double last year’s total,” he told AIN.
Last week Iraq took delivery of the first batch of Mil helicopters from the Rostvertol factory. Four Mi-35Ms were delivered to Iraq, their arrival being announced by Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki. Iraqi managers, crews and technicians have been training at the Russian army’s Torzhok center, with the first group completing its course in late September. Following the delivery of the initial batch will be at least two more Mi-35Ms, and a sizeable batch of Mil Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters.
International Wings Group (IWG), the privately owned, Jordan-based aviation concern, has won the management contract for Iraq Gate, the first private jet company with an air operator’s certificate (AOC) in Iraq. It said its unit, Arab Wings (Stand 2418), the Jordanian charter unit of IWG, won the contract in June.
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.
This week at the Paris Air Show Beechcraft (Chalet/Static I) announced a 28-month contract extension to the contractor logistics support program it provides for the Iraqi Air Force’s six King Air 350/350ER special-mission aircraft. Beechcraft’s global mission support (GMS) team provides the in-country support and comprises 15 personnel. As well as technicians the team includes instructors to train Iraqi maintenance personnel. The Iraqi GMS team operates a base supply warehouse and provides services on a cost-per-flying hour model.
Iraq has agreed to acquire 28 Aero Vodochody L-159 advanced trainer/light attack aircraft from the Czech Republic, the two countries announced on October 15.
Hawker Beechcraft is evaluating whether the long-serving but still popular Baron 58 piston twin could be adapted for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
In late September, the U.S. Pentagon announced that the first payment had been made concerning the supply of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to Iraq, ending a period of delay due to budgetary issues and speculation about whether the contract would proceed.
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