Washington to Invest $2.25 Billion Equipping 25 new Iraqi Battalions


Washington is planning a massive arms sale to Iraq, to equip 25 additional battalions and brigade headquarters. If all options are exercised, this sale could be as high as $2.257 billion. According to Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), This expansion will enable Iraq to equip new forces to assume the missions currently accomplished by U.S. and coalition forces and to sustain themselves in their efforts to bring stability to the country.

The new package includes 32 UH-1 Huey helicopters refurbished to Huey II standard. It also includes 590 armored vehicles including 336 Ukrainian made BTR-3E1 armored personnel carriers, 189 armored land cruisers, 55 ILAV Route Clearing Vehicles (Cougar based) and ten armored Mercedes trucks. 123,544 M16A4 Rifles, 12,035 M4 carbines, clothing and individual equipment. The package will also include various ammunition stocks, including 12 Gauge buckshot rounds, 9mm, 5.56mm rounds for personal weapons, 7.62 mm, 0.5 Caliber rounds and 40mm HEDP grenades, flares, smoke and stun grenades used for individual support weapons and 60 and 81mm mortar rounds.

980 HMMWVs and 4,260 trucks of various types, 314 busses and vans, 112 motorcycles, 1,425 sedans will provide logistics infrastructure for the new formations. Engineering assets will include 33 bulldozers, ten excavators, 20 wheeled loaders and 19 wreckers, logistics vehicles etc.

The sale also includes comprehensive communications and C4 support equipment, including 1,518 vehicular VHF radios, 4,800 VHF hand-held radios and 6,490 manpack radios. Infrastructure assets included in the package comprise communication towers, troposcatters, microwave radios, gateways and subscriber units for integration with Iraqi Defense Network (IDN) and (Iraqi) Defense Private Network (DPN), as well as Satellite Communications’ Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT).

BTR-3E1 armored personnel vehicle (Photo: Thierry Lachapelle)