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Iraqi Air Force will be equipped with United States made fighter aircraft F-16 2809111.


| 2011
a
 
World Air Force News - Iraq
 
 
Iraqi Air Force will be equipped with United States made fighter aircraft F-16.
 
Iraq has made the first payment in a deal to buy 18 US F-16 fighter jets worth a total of about $3bn the US state department has said. The fighters, which are not expected to be delivered until next year, are to protect the country's air space.
     
     
The base value of Iraq's jet order is about $3 billion, Little told reporters at the Pentagon today. With all options for equipment and services, the total value of the agreement may reach $4.2 billion.

The program, outlined in a September 2010 Defense Department notice to Congress, includes 18 F-16 Block 52 variant jets. Iraq's air force was largely destroyed in the wars in 1991 and 2003 and during the years between when the U.S. enforced a no-fly zone.

"The air force is considered a vital factor to protect Iraq's sovereignty and security against external threats," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.

"Iraq needs to build its air force and to depend on its own capabilities to defend the skies instead of asking other countries to do so - especially if we know that the US forces will leave at the end of this year."

Mr al-Dabbagh said $1.4bn has already been transferred as a partial payment.

 
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