The Iraqi Government is in initial talks to buy BAE Hawk trainer jets from the UK under a deal worth approximately £1bn ($1.52bn).

The order, initially worth £500m ($762m), is expected to be for the purchase of 24 jets, and could rise up to £1bn including support and maintenance, according to the Financial Times.

Officials from the Iraqi Air Force (IAF) will visit the UK in May 2010 to test the Hawk used to train Royal Air Force fast-jet pilots.

Korea’s T50 supersonic aircraft and Italy’s Maki 346 are also being considered by the IAF alongside the BAE Hawk for the proposed deal.