Iraq looks to acquire 15 light utility helicopters and up to 12 medium utility helicopters from the US under its foreign military sale programme.

The contract would also include spare and repair parts, support training and communication equipment, ground support, technical and logistics support services worth a total of $1.2bn.

Iraq has requested for either 15 AgustaWestland AW109 light utility observation helicopters, or 15 Bell Model 429 medical evacuation and aerial observation helicopters or 15 EADS North America UH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters in the light category.

In the medium spectrum, it has asked for either 12 AgustaWestland AW139 medium utility helicopters, or 12 Bell model 412 medium utility helicopters, or 12 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with 24 T700-GE-701D engines.

The helicopters will enable the nation to strengthen its military power and police force to sustain and stabilise political situation and prevent unrest within Iraq.

If the sale takes place, US Government and the firms would need to assist in the delivery and deployment of the helicopters for an extended period.