Iraq seeking to buy new air defense system


According to The New Arab, Iraqi MPs have said that the country is looking to purchase an air defense system from one of the three selected countries: Russia, France or South Korea. Striking a deal with Moscow could possibly subject it to US sanctions.
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Since 2002, there has been no evidence that Iraq had been able to obtain any elements of the aging SA-10 or SA-20 air defense systems, nor was there any indication of significant upgrades to the SA-2, SA-3 or SA-6 missiles systems. (Picture source: via Global Security)


Iraq announced on October 11 it will be purchasing new air defenses from one of three countries after the state allocated a budget for the missile system, The New Arab reports. Bader Al-Ziyadi, a member of the Security and Defense Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, said in a press statement that this year's budget would not cover the cost of new air defenses but that the country needs such a system. He said that Iraq could buy military equipment from Russia, France, or South Korea.

Hakim Al-Zamili, an Iraqi MP and a former head of the security and defense committee, previously told Russia Today that negotiations were taking place between Baghdad and Moscow on the possible purchase of Russia's S-400 missile system. Such a deal could subject Iraq to US sanctions though, as has happens to Turkey since it bought the S-400 air defense system.

According to Global Security, by 2002 Iraq still maintained an integrated air defense system (IADS) of overlapping rings of surface-to-air missiles around Baghdad and Tikrit. However, in the no-fly zones, air defenses consisted of antiaircraft artillery and modified artillery rockets, with occasional surface-to-air missiles moved into unprepared sites for a short time. Command and control in the no-fly zones was rudimentary and decentralized because the air defenses there have been attacked with regularity over the years. By 2002 Iraq's shoulder-fired, low-altitude missiles were primarily the aging SA-7 and SA-14s. The Iraqis were not thought to have the more sophisticated SA-16s and SA-18s. The primary air defense operations center was in Baghdad, with sector air defense centers in Taji (central), Kirkuk (north), H-3 (west) and Talil (south). These centers control about 60 SAM firing units [variously called batteries or battalions] of SA-2s, SA-3s and SA-6s. At the beginning of Desert Storm, there were 90 such units. According to some estimates, there are as many as 7,000-7,500 AAA guns of 23 mm or greater caliber [IISS estimates about 6,000 such guns]. The most numerous AAA guns were reportedly the 57-mm S-60 and the 100-mm KS-19.

The radar tracking information for guns inside the no-fly zones was provided from distant radars outside the no-fly zones. The effort by Chinese and other companies to improve this system with fiber-optic data links did not appear to have made a major improvement in Iraq's air defense.. Since 2002, there has been no evidence that Iraq had been able to obtain any elements of the aging SA-10 or SA-20 air defense systems, nor was there any indication of significant upgrades to the SA-2, SA-3 or SA-6 missiles systems. It did not appear that Iraq has imported or made operational any passive detection system, such as the Ukrainian Kolchuga or the Czech Tamara or Trash Drum/Ramona systems.


 

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