Region | Iraq

Iraq seeks to buy F-16 fighter jets from the US

The Iraqi government is seeking to buy 36 advanced F-16 fighter jets from the US, American military officials familiar with the request told the Wall Street Journal.

  • Agencies
  • Published: 00:28 September 6, 2008
  • Gulf News

Baghdad: The Iraqi government is seeking to buy 36 advanced F-16 fighter jets from the US, American military officials familiar with the request told the Wall Street Journal.

This move could help Iraq reduce its reliance on US air power and potentially allow more American forces to withdraw from the country than had been proposed.

The F-16, made by Lockheed Martin Corp, is the most sophisticated weapons system Iraq has attempted to purchase so far.

Late in July, the US Department of Defence approved up to $10.7 billion (Dh39.3 billion) in arms sales for Iraq, including a $2.16 billion sale of M1A1 Abrams tanks built by General Dynamics Corp.

The US recently announced F-16 sales to Morocco and Romania. Those sales, for roughly $100 million per plane with training, related equipment and support included, offer an indication of how lucrative the Iraq deal could be.

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