Iraq to Receive Russian Military Helicopters

By Ali Abel Sadah for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

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.

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