And second, eventually (but when?) they are going to have to rebuild the self-defense capabilities of the Iraqi Air Force, so what are some ideas and what is most likely to happen? Are the days of Iraq using Soviet military equipment all but gone?
MissedApproach From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 713 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 3555 times:
There probably won't be much rebuilding of the Iraqi Air Force in the near future. They need more police & border patrols than airplanes. IMO, their most likely aquisitions would be general aviation types for surveillance operations, or helicopters for moving troops/police forces.
AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2529 posts, RR: 6 Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3483 times:
US forces can't stay there forever and especially if some liberal nut like Hill Klinton somehow gets elected in the next term, don't expect US forces to stay in Iraq too much longer.
Regardless of how long US troops do stay in Iraq, I don't see a major withdrawl until a "decent" defense force can be acquired, and that would include tanks and combat aircraft. They fought 8 years against Iran in the 80's and a vunerable Iraq may be enough for the new former hostage captor now selected, ahem "elected" in Iran to make their move on Iraq once and for all.
Hamfist From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 614 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3373 times:
If Iraq becomes even semi-democratic and Iran remains what it is...there's no way Iraq doesn't put a priority on an Air Force!
Given our involvement, I too see Iraq using a lot of western equipment. I wouldn't expect to see much variety at first, simply because it would be too costly, harder to maintain and more difficult to establish a complicated air doctrine in the early years. Wouldn't suprise me to see them choose either the F-16 or even the F-18 (Kuwait has about 50 of them). C-130's would be a no-brainer (maybe even an AC-130?).
As for training the pilots, I would anticipate seeing a few Iraqi's attending USAF pilot training or some sort of contract training done in Iraq whenever that time comes.
CaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3363 times:
I wouldn't judge what Iraq gets by what others in the region have. Arab countries have a habit of buying the best toys availible with no regard for the cost or their actual need.. Saudi Arabia has F-15Es, and I doubt you will find one person who will argue that they need that kind of capability. Iraq having just endured what they have I doubt they have the cash to go out and buy the newest, most expensive toys availible.
Look for Iraq to get something cheap, widely availible, and probably something plentiful in the used market.. That is why I said F-16s.. Plus the F-18 has kind of short range and Iraq is kind of a big country. Also, if I were Iraq I would want the F-16 for the easy supportability without having to stay totally friendly with the US. I know Iran has managed to keep F-14s flying without our support for like 25 years, but that is just a miracle and I wouldn't expect to see the same out of another country.
C-130s are almost a given, there are probably a bunch of old ones sitting stored somewhere we could make them a deal on.
For helicopters.. maybe old Hueys? Assuming they aren't all scrapped yet. Unless someone steps up and makes them a great offer on some Russian stuff.
Hamfist From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 614 posts, RR: 4 Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3356 times:
Yeah, but keep in mind that there will be one major difference between Iraq and most of these other middle east countries -- Iraq will more resemble a democracy than these other countries. Saudi, Kuwait, etc. have royal families and are generally inclined just to buy things that will impress other countries and allow the officers (i.e. royal chosen ones) to have their toys in which to "play soldier" every now and then. Should anything happen, they have always known the west would step in to protect the them and their oil (i.e. Desert Shield build-up).
Iraq, on the other hand, being a fledgling democracy will certainly draw criticism from other gulf states and probably feel the need to have a solid defense organization.
Ruger11 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 50 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3294 times:
They already are building their airforce... and are beginning with transport, and light reconnaisance aircraft...
"The Iraqi air force's 70th Squadron took possession of the first two SAMA CH2000 light air surveillance aircraft, 29 Octover 2004, in Basrah, as the first delivery of an eight - and possibly 16 aircraft - addition to the force. In standing up the balance of the aircraft, the Iraqi air force will receive two CH2000 airplanes per month - deliveries kicking off in December - with final deliveries completing the $5.8 million acquisition at the end of March 2005."
Also looks like they have gotten two C-130B aircraft and are getting UH-1Ns
So, it appears they are going to scrap or sell everything that they have still leftover from the Saddam Regime, and build a whole new airforce. They also bought some recon planes that are a joint austalian/jordanian build.
Hope they can do it right and build a good force... AND train good pilots. I definitely see some of their pilots attending US or other western schools.
Spacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2738 posts, RR: 1 Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3254 times:
They never got the 2 C-130Bs from Jordan. Those were too far gone to overhaul, so instead the USAF donated 3 C-130Es. All are painted in Iraqi AF markings. Some crews are being trained in Jordan, others in Arkansas.
They're also getting 16 UH-1Hs from Jordan, with 2 already delivered. I've seen 4 Bell 206 helicopters donated from UAE, also with more to come. Poland is supplying Sokol helis and overhauled MI-17s. Not sure when the first of these will become operational.
Last month a light surveilence aircraft crashed, killing all onboard.
TERRA From Iraq, joined Aug 1999, 207 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3048 times:
The 3 xC130s are based in Tallil and are often seen flying around country.
The UH1 x2 are based at the new Iraqi AF facility on the mil side of BIAP along with the Bell Deathrangers that recently arrived.
I believe they are looking at the BN islander as an observation type and the F16s have been rumoured for almost a year. The Polish helicopter order was confirmed in Flight magazine a while back but i don't know when you'll see these in service.
Most former IQAF hardwear is considered scrap. I have visited most IQ airfields and haven't seen anything even close to airworthy. Most are lying in scrap heaps and fire dumps and have been scavenged or sliced up. There are some complete airframes (but still in a bad state) knocking around mainly Mig 23/25s but i imagine these will be left in the desert.
Other aircraft in relatively good condition were a Mirage F1 and Mig 25 in BIAP but these were flown back to the US in 2003 with a Mi8 and Bo105