Iraq to buy F-16s

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by pyromaniac, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    The Iraqi Air Force has convinced the government to spend $1.5 billion to buy a squadron of 18 F-16 jet fighters. The U.S. is inclined to cooperate, and sell Iraq the 96 F-16s Iraqi Air Force wants to eventually purchase over the next decade.

    The F-16 is currently the most popular fighter aircraft in service. Last year, Romania bought 48 F-16s for $4.5 billion. Half will be the latest model, the F-16C /50. The others will be used, and reconditioned to F-16C/25 standards. Romania could have waited a few years and bought the new F-35 instead, but that would have cost them more money (nearly $6 billion for just 24). Romania did the math and realized that 48 F-16s would be more than adequate to handle any neighborhood spats. And if Russia became a problem, Romania is now a member of NATO, and capable of calling on some very big allies.

    The U.S. still has about 1,300 F-16s in service (about half with reserve units). Over 4,200 F-16s were produced, and America has hundreds in storage, available for sale on the used warplane market. The end of the Cold War in 1991 led to a sharp cut in U.S. Air Force fighter squadrons. Moreover, the new F-35 will be replacing all U.S. F-16s in the next decade. So the U.S. has plenty of little-used F-16s sitting around, and many allies in need of low cost jet fighters.

    F-16s are still produced for export, and these cost as much as $70 million each (the F-16I for Israel). Some nations, like South Korea, build the F-16 under license. A used F-16C, built in the 1990s, would go for about $10 million on the open market. The 16 ton F-16 has an admirable combat record, and is very popular with pilots. It has been successful at ground support as well. When equipped with 4-6 smart bombs, it is a very effective bomber.

    Meanwhile, Iraq is expanding its air force to over 130 aircraft and 6,000 personnel. Within six years, it plans to have over 500 aircraft, most of them non-combat types. Currently the air force has seven squadrons: (1 transport, 2 reconnaissance, 1 helicopter training, 1 helicopter transport, 1 utility/search and rescue, and 1 special operations). By 2015, there will be about 35 squadrons (14 fighter, 5 attack helicopter, 5 armed scout helicopter, 2 transport, 2 reconnaissance, 1 fixed wing training, 1 helicopter training, 3 helicopter transport, 1 utility/search and rescue, and 1 special operations). The Iraqis are eager to buy F-16s partly because neighboring Turkey and Jordan have done well with this model.

    Currently, the air force is flying, with nearly a hundred aircraft, over 50 sorties a day, mostly transport and reconnaissance missions. The first combat aircraft will be in action later this year, as Iraq equips its Cessna Caravan 208 aircraft with laser designators and Hellfire missiles. Mi-17 helicopters will be equipped to fire unguided rockets.

    The $1.5 billion the air force needs for its first 18 F-16s includes what it will cost to build maintenance and training infrastructure for that type of aircraft.

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20090406.aspx

    At this rate, Iraq is going to be a superpower :)
     
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  3. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Great...so LMs problem of keeping the production lines of F 16 is over I suppose.
     
  4. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Can Iraq afford it ??? Or, is it just America's aid money being spent on procuring F-16s from America ???
     
  5. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    With the number of times (and the years) they have been involved in a war since Iraq existed, i think they should start pumping out oil and get 1000 fighter jets, 10,000 tanks, ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

    F-16s are a good start, a good old work horse that can do many things.
     
  6. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    You're joking, right Kuku ????
     
  7. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    About the numbers yes, however not about the intent.

    Right now Iraq has the protection of USA and its not so merry group of allies, they could count of them for another 5-10 years.

    This is the time to start up on a strong form of governance, and it should be democratic (even if its with a Islamic twist), this process will take a long time, and they will need a bad ass military force to survive in that region.

    The vast amount of oil they have can serve them well, once they are able to achieve some political backbone they will be able to take control of the oil and use that money to start the development of their unfortunate nation.

    They need to develop a huge well trained, equipped and well payed military as soon as they can.
     
  8. ZOOM

    ZOOM Founding Member

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    USA will only going to lend some second hand F-16s to Iraqi Airforce, brand new F-16s are very difficult to come by.
     
  9. pyromaniac

    pyromaniac Founding Member

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    Iraq had like a 80billion dollar surplus last time I check...thats right, 80 BILLION DOLLARS

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/05/iraq.oil/
     

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