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The Chinese VN22

Iraq starts production of Chinese VN22 armoured vehicles

BAGHDAD, April 8, 2024

Iraq has reportedly launched the local production of what seems to be the Chinese VN22, a 6x6 Armoured Personnel Carrier, Army Recognition reported.
 
The VN22 showcased in the DIC video is equipped with a one-man weapon station, armed with a Norinco 12.7 mm LM5 three-barrel Gatling-type machine gun, Al Defaiya reported.
 
The VN22 is a Chinese-made 6x6 armoured personnel carrier vehicle that was unveiled by the Chinese defence company NORINCO during the Zhuhai Air China in October 2021. In January 2024, it was announced that Côte d’Ivoire acquired an undisclosed number of Chinese-made VN-22B. According to another source, the vehicle is also in service with Senegal Police Forces.
 
Strategic blueprint
The Iraqi Defence Industries Commission is actively pursuing a strategic blueprint aimed at bolstering Iraq’s defense capabilities. Among its key objectives, the establishment of a cutting-edge defence industrial base stands out. This initiative seeks to fulfil the comprehensive needs of Iraq's armed forces and security apparatus, encompassing a wide array of weapons, equipment, and ammunition.
 
The Iraqi military’s equipment primarily comes from various international manufacturers, including the US, Russia, and Soviet Union-origin vehicles and weaponry. While there is significant diversity in the origins of Iraq’s military hardware, the current publicly available information does not specifically list modern Chinese military equipment as part of their arsenal.
 
Recent defence relations between China and Iraq have significantly deepened, primarily centered on economic cooperation, infrastructure development, and energy. These developments come amidst Iraq’s broader attempts to rebuild and stabilise the country following years of conflict.
 
China has been a key player in Iraq’s reconstruction efforts, especially in the oil, agriculture, and housing sectors. In 2019, Chinese companies agreed to construct 8 million residences across almost all provinces in Iraq, showcasing the scale of China's involvement in the country’s infrastructure development. This agreement was part of a broader initiative during the visit of the then-Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi to Beijing, highlighting a “quantum leap” in bilateral relations between the two nations.
 
Energy cooperation has been a cornerstone of the China-Iraq strategic partnership. Since 2013, when China launched the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Iraq has emerged as an essential partner for energy engagement within this framework. 
 
Chinese imports
In 2022 alone, China imported a significant amount of crude oil from Iraq, marking a substantial increase in Iraq’s oil exports to China and underscoring the strategic importance of their bilateral relations in terms of energy policies.
 
The Defence Industries Commission (DIC) was established by a decree of the President of the Republic after the House of Representatives voted on Law No 25 of 2019, which was published in the official Gazette on 4/11/2019 to form this body, which is located in the capital, Baghdad, and is linked to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, according to the Commission’s website.
 
The Defence Industries Commission has a set of goals that it is working to achieve on the ground, and one of its most prominent goals is the establishment of an advanced base for defense industries in Iraq and to meet the needs of the armed forces and security services in all their parts of weapons, equipment and ammunition, and the production and export of civilian materials, as well as to contribute to maintaining the National security, strengthening national sovereignty, and preparing and rehabilitating scientific and technical cadres specialised in the Defence industries  according to plans set by the commission.
 
Specialised factories
The Defence Industries Commission seeks to achieve the aforementioned goals, by a number of methods and means, the most important of which is the establishment of specialised factories in the field of Defence industries, rehabilitating the existing ones, equipping them with the latest technology, setting scientific and practical plans to direct human resources and energies in the field of Defence industries and benefiting from national expertise and competencies in industries.
 
In addition to the above, a commission is working to rehabilitate and develop companies and factories and improve their production by means of research and development to reach products with high specifications and conduct studies and research related to the commissions objectives and benefit from the capabilities of the private sector by providing opportunities for it to participate in the defence industries.--TradeArabia News Service
 



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