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US approves $1bn Iraq pilot training deal

BAGHDAD, April 18, 2017

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale worth $1.06 billion to Iraq for pilot and maintenance training, contractor logistical support (CLS) for trainer aircraft, and base support, said a report.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on April 11, added the Iraq Business News report.

The principal contractor is Spartan College, Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this time, there are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, it said.

The Government of Iraq has requested a possible sale of pilot training; maintenance training; and contractor logistical services support for C-172, C-208, and T-6 aircraft for up to five years to include contractor aircraft modification; repair and spare parts; publications; aircraft ferry; and miscellaneous parts, along with training base operation support, base life support, security, construction, and other related elements of programme support.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to provide for a stable, sovereign, and democratic Iraq, capable of combating terrorism and protecting its people and sovereignty, the state department said.

Iraq currently owns 12 C-172, five C-208, and 15 T-6 training aircraft.

The training pipeline will allow the Iraqi Air Force to tailor pilot training for several US-origin operational aircraft.

The C-172s and T-6s are Iraq’s training platforms for their mobility and fighter attack fleets. The C-208s are Iraq’s platform of choice for training its Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) pilots.

The proposed sale of training and support services will improve the Iraq’s ability to train its pilots and maintenance technicians. By training its own pilots and maintenance technician’s in-country, Iraq will decrease its overseas training requirements, significantly reduce its training costs, and will enhance its ability to take over the sustainment of its aircraft.

Iraq will have no difficulty absorbing this support. In addition to its primary mission – pilot and maintenance training for Iraqi Air Force personnel – this proposed sale includes Contractor Logistical Support costs for the trainer aircraft, as well as possible future construction and base operation support costs.

The proposed sale of this training and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

Tags: | Training | US | Iraq | deal | pilot |

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