The US has announced another tranche of expected military equipment sales to Iraq - this time totalling up to $6 billion. They include 36 Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B counter-insurgency aircraft, worth $520 million, plus 20 T-6A turboprop trainers, valued at $210 million. There are also 26 Bell 407 armed helicopters, worth $366 million. But the bigger deals cover M1A1M tanks and armored Humvees ($2.6bn), Stryker combat vehicles ($1.1bn), and coastal and offshore patrol vessels ($1bn). Rounding out the package are thousands of rifles and grenade launchers, plus radios and other useful stuff.
Photo: Hawker Beechcraft
Iraq would be the first customer for the AT-6B armed version of Hawker Beechcraft's T-6 Texan II turboprop trainer. Equipment specified includes AAR-60 missile launch detection systems and ALE-47 countermeasures dispensers. The Bell 407s will be armed with Hellfire missiles, 2.75in rockets and .50cal machine guns. The Pentagon notified Congress in July of the potential sale of 24 armed Bell 407s or Boeing AH-6s, so it looks like Bell won - a small consolation for the cancellation of its contract to develop the US Army's ARH-70 armed reconnaissance helicopter.