F-16 aircraft

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale of 18 F-16IQ aircraft, including aircraft associated equipment, parts, weapons, training and logistical support to Iraq.

Under the estimated $2.3bn sale, Iraq has also requested 24 F100PW-229 or F110-GE-129 increased performance engines, 120 LAU-129/A common rail launchers, 24 APG-68(V)9 radar sets, 19 M61 20mm vulcan cannons and 100 AIM-9L/M-8/9 sidewinder missiles, plus 150 AIM-7M-F1/H sparrow missiles.

The package also includes 50 AGM-65D/G/H/K maverick air to ground missiles, 200 GBU-12 Paveway II, 50 GBU-10 Paveway II, 50 GBU-24 Paveway III laser guided bomb units, 22 ALQ-211 AIDEWS, 20 AN/APX-113 AIFF and 20 AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER pods, among others.

The aircraft and accompanying weapon systems will enhance interoperability of Iraq with the US and other Nato nations, while also supporting the nation to independently defend and protect its airspace as well as its sovereignty.

The proposed sale will enhance and modernise Iraq’s Air Force capabilities and support both its air defense needs and coalition operations.

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BAE systems, Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop-Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, Goodrich, General Electric, L3 Communications, ITT and Symetrics Industries are the prime contractors.

The compact multirole Lockheed-Martin-built F-16 fighter jet has a high level of manoeuvrability, a speed of 2,124km/h and can be equipped with air-to-surface missiles, air-to-air missiles and stand-off land-attack missiles.

Currently, the USAF operates more than 2,000 F-16 fighter jets.

The aircraft is also in service with the air forces of Bahrain, Greece, Israel, Egypt, New Zealand, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, South Korea, Oman, Chile and Poland.

Caption:The Lockheed-Martin-built F-16 fighter jet is a compact multirole aircraft with a high level of manoeuvrability and can be equipped with air-to-surface missiles, air-to-air missiles and stand-off land-attack missiles.