The Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) has taken delivery of the first of six Antonov An-32 light transport aircraft under contract from Ukraine.

The delivery follows the $550m Iraq-Ukraine intergovernmental agreement signed in 2009 for the supply of six An-32 aircraft and maintenance services for a period of three years.

The contract also includes delivery of military hardware including BTR-4 armoured personnel carriers, maintenance vehicles and BTR crew-training simulators.

The twin-engine AN-32 turboprop military transport aircraft is capable of operating in hot climates of up to 55°C.

The aircraft is designed for cargo transport over short and medium-range air routes, parachute delivery of personnel and cargo platforms on pallets, and firefighting missions.

According to the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency, the second An-32 will be delivered next month, followed by four aircraft in 2012.