Iraq to spend $100 million to buy Turkey’s Bayraktar TB2 drone – report

The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone is pictured at Gecitkale military airbase on December 16, 2019. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraq will spend around $100 million to buy Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UAVs from Turkey, a Russian newspaper reported.

Russian newspaper Pravda cited a Turkish source as saying that Iraqi authorities had decided to avoid the acquisition of Russian MiG-29 fighters.

“The Iraqi authorities have approved the purchase of Bayraktar TB2 UAVs totaling $100 million from Turkey,” a Turkish source told Pravda on Thursday.

“The UAVs will be used to protect mountainous and desert areas, especially on the Syrian border, where the situation has been unfavorable recently,” the source said.

Iraq intended to receive about 20 unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkey, the newspaper reported.

In August, Iraq’s defense minister Juma Inad said the country had “reached a consensus” with Turkey concerning the purchase of Bayraktar TB2 drone, according to Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak.

Inad also said Baghdad “intended” to purchase 12 T129 ATAK twin-engine, all-weather attack helicopters and sent a “request to buy” six of Turkey’s KORAL electronic warfare systems, the newspaper reported.

Iraq had repeatedly expressed its interest in potentially buying high-end Russian military hardware. It, however, didn’t take any solid steps to do so.

In 2020, a military inspector from the Iraqi ministry of defense said at Russia’s Army defense industry forum that Iraq might be interested in purchasing Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 jet, Forbes reported.

The Iraqi government had also expressed its interest in advanced Russia S-400 or S-300 air defense missile systems in recent years.

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