Iraq buys light and medium utility helicopters


The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency says Iraq has requested 15 helicopters with associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $1.2 billion.

The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of up to 15 AgustaWestland AW109 Light Utility Observation helicopters, or alternatively, 15 Bell Model 429 Medical Evacuation and Aerial Observation helicopters, or 15 EADS North America UH-72A Lakota Light Utility helicopters; and, up to 12 AgustaWestland AW139 Medium Utility helicopters, or alternatively, 12 Bell Model 412 Medium Utility helicopters, or 12 Sikorsky UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters equipped with 24 T700-GE-701D engines,” the agency has told the US congress.

Also included are spare and repair parts, publications and technical data, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, ground support, communications equipment, U.S. Government and contractor provided technical and logistics support services, tools and test equipment, and other related elements of logistics support.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country. This proposed sale directly supports the Iraq government and serves the interests of the Iraqi people and the US,” the agency adds.

“This proposed sale will advance Iraqi efforts to develop a strong national military and police authority. A well-equipped and trained military and police/border force patrol authority and counter-terrorism force will help ensure that Iraq can continue to sustain its democratically-elected government, assist in stabilising the various provinces, and prevent an overflow of unrest into the provinces, cities, and towns within Iraq.”

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the agency says.

Pic: A South African Air Force AgustaWestland AW109LUH