Pentagon Proposes $2.7B In Iraq Arms Contracts

According to Al Arabiya, the Pentagon has notified the U.S. Congress of $2.7 billion in possible new sales to Iraq of air defense and communications systems.

The most recent contracts would raise the value of a series of U.S. arms sales to Iraq that have been sent to Congress over the past two weeks to nearly $5 billion, which Congress has 30 days to take action on.

The largest of the contracts proposed on Monday is worth an estimated $2.4 billion, and involves the sale of 681 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, 40 truck-mounted launchers, and 3 Hawk anti-aircraft batteries with 216 Hawk missiles.

"These capabilities will provide Iraq with the ability to contribute to regional air defenses and reduce its vulnerability to air attacks, while also enhancing interoperability between the government of Iraq, the U.S, and other allies," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The second contract, worth $339 million, involves the sale of 19 mobile radio systems and 10 microwave radio systems.

The Defense Security and Cooperation Agency also sent Congress three other proposed arms sales to Iraq worth $2 billion on July 25. A package that included the sale of 12 Bell 412 EP transport helicopters, and 50 Stryker armored vehicles equipped for nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical warfare. Iraq also previously ordered 36 F-16 fighter aircraft at the end of 2011.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last year called on the United States to accelerate the delivery of arms for Iraqi troops, after signing a contract with Moscow to supply Iraq with $4.2 billion in arms. The deal with Moscow fell through, however, because of suspicions of corruption.

(Source: Al Arabiya)

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