The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress that the US plans to sell to Iraq 50 Strykers, built by General Dynamics Land Systems, in the nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance variant. (US Army)
WASHINGTON — The Defense Department notified Congress on Thursday that it is working on three deals with the government of Iraq to sell $1.9 billion worth of military equipment and logistical support to the country, including Stryker infantry vehicles, helicopters and maintenance and logistical support for its fleet of American-made ground vehicles.
The largest of the three proposed deals submitted to Congress by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) involves the potential sale of 50 Stryker nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance vehicles, along with assorted parts, worth about $900 million.
The sale of the General Dynamics-made vehicles with associated training by US government and contractor teams would provide the Iraqi Army with new chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear reconnaissance units “with reliable capabilities for early warning of contamination by radiological, biological, and chemical material,” the notice said.
The Iraqi Army does not own any Stryker infantry carriers, so the fast-moving vehicles would provide the force with a brand-new capability that would fall in on top of their American-made Humvees, M113s, logistics vehicles and Abrams tanks.
The Pentagon also wants to sell Iraq 12 Bell 412EP helicopters along with training and logistical support for $300 million. The helicopters would be equipped with Star SAFIRE III electro-optical/infrared systems, and the deal would give the Iraqi Air Force a search-and-rescue capability.
The final part of the deal involves a $750 million, five-year logistics contract that would cover the maintenance of several American-made Iraqi vehicles, including the M88A1 recovery vehicle, M88A2 Hercules, M113 infantry carrier, Howitzers, and Humvees, and would help Iraq “maintain, sustain and effectively utilize the equipment it has purchased or received from the United States over the past decade,” DSCA wrote.
In October 2012, Iraq inked a deal with Russia’s Rosoboronexport for over $4 billion that has been reported to include 30 Mi-28NE attack helicopters, the first 10 of which were delivered at the end of June.