On June 18, an Iraqi military source confirmed that the air force command will receive “Alligator” combat helicopters from Russia in the coming period.
In a statement to Al-Monitor, the source, a senior Iraqi army officer, said that “the aircraft will be of the Ka-52 [pictured] and Mi-28NE models from the French Le Bourget Air Show.”
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained, “The Iraqi air force command will get a new source of strength with the acquisition of this model of helicopter.”
The source continued, saying, “The new Russian aircraft, especially the Ka-52, are distinguished by their ability to lead a squadron of helicopters and play the role of the command post, which defines and assigns the goals of the squadron’s helicopters.”
The source added that the Ka-52 “does not have less technical and combat characteristics than the US AH-64 Apache helicopters.”
This statement came one day after a Russian news agency published information on the completion of a purchase agreement between the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Russian government, dating back to 2011.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had visited Moscow to hold negotiations for an arms deal. Yet, it was immediately halted after suspicions of corruption against officials close to Maliki.