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MENAFN - 19/10/2012

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(MENAFN) Iraq's acting defense minister, Sadoun al-Dulaimi, stated that his government has inked a new USD3 billion contract with the US to acquire 18 F-16 fighter jets to restore its air force, reported Reuters.

Al-Dulaimi said that the new purchase is part of an agreement to acquire 36 fighters from the US.

In September 2011, Iraq inked a deal to buy 18 jets to be delivered by September 2014, whereas the second batch would be delivered due 4 years later.

He added that the Iraqi government was in talks with the US to purchase air defense systems and Apache helicopters.

The US has inked nearly USD12 billion in recent arms contracts with Iraq, which had no real air force since the 2003 US-led invasion, to build up its armed forces.

It is worth noting that Iraq will not be able to protect its airspace until the end of the decade.

 






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