Jan 29, 2014

U.S. to sell, lease Apache attack helicopters to Iraqi forces

Iraq’s embattled government will be allowed to buy and lease Apache attack helicopters to help fight a renewed insurgency after a U.S. lawmaker lifted his long-running objections to the deal.
The agreement allows Iraq to lease as many as six Apaches this year and purchase another two dozen for delivery over the next three years.
Iraq’s military hopes to use the aircraft against militants from the Al Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have overrun parts of Iraq. The fighting has left hundreds of civilians, soldiers and militants dead and forced thousands of families to flee.
The Pentagon said the Apache leasing deal included 152 Hellfire missiles, launchers, night-vision goggles, spare parts and other gear. The U.S. is also preparing to train Iraqi troops in Jordan.
Delivery of the first leased aircraft is not likely before the summer, and Iraqi pilots and ground crews will still have to be trained, delaying the helicopter's use in combat for months. The purchased Apaches must still be manufactured.

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