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.
Having acquired its first aircraft in 2004, the reborn Iraqi air force is now performing routine missions alongside coalition fleets in the country. Further procurement is expanding the air force inventory in key mission areas, and U.S. forces are extremely pleased with the progress that the young air arm has made in a short time.