Skip to comments.US eyes new F-16 fighters for Iraq - commander
Posted on 06/05/2010 8:00:29 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The top U.S. commander in Iraq said he expected the United States to meet a long-standing Iraqi request for new Lockheed Martin Corp F-16 multi-role fighter aircraft, although not as soon as Baghdad had sought.
"We're still working our way through that, but I think they will be new ones" rather than refurbished F-16s, another option that has been under review, Army General Ray Odierno told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday.
The U.S. Air Force has been quiet for months on the status of an assessment it carried out last year on Iraq's air defense needs and whether it would recommend the F-16 sale.
Under the U.S. government-to-government Foreign Military Sales program, a transfer of such weapons is subject to approvals by the departments of defense and state as well as by Congress.
Odierno said the United States would not meet Iraq's request before the scheduled completion of a phased U.S. troop withdrawal at the end of next year.
"This will be an evolving process over the next several years," said Odierno, a four-star general who commands all U.S. forces in Iraq.
The F-16 is a powerful symbol of political and military cooperation with the United States and a potential key to fostering post-withdrawal U.S. and Iraqi security ties.
France, Russia, China and others have been jockeying to help fill Iraq's multibillion-dollar arms wish list, which includes multi-role fighters to defend its air space from its neighbors.
Iraqi Defense Minister Abdel Qader Jassim said in July that Iraq had "many alternatives" for securing such aircraft if the United States failed to supply F-16s.
"We have to have the right airplane to protect our skies in 2011," he told a July 28 joint news conference with Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Baghdad.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Ridiculous. Just give them a ton of Super Turcanos. Hell I’d say you could even unwrap some of the old A-1 Skyraiders out in Arizona, and they’d be set, you know?
DO NOT NEED.
With the state of their Air Force, there is no way they could field a squadron of F-16s or any other high performance fighter jet by 2011.
As long as we have a little button that says "Coast into the ground at Mach 2", I don't have a problem with it.
Besides, I'd put our guys in F-5s against their guys in F-16As (block 1). Like our guys do in Nevada every year at Red Flag.
Our pilots are really, really that good.
Otherwise, I would have killed a few on the ground for being obnoxious pr**ks.
They need to be thinking about integration and join operations with the other gulf states. Sooner or later there will be another war between Iran and one or more of its neighbors.
Surface to air AD systems only IMO...
And I'm pretty much deaf these days anyway.
The Polish Air force has acquired F-16s and are just now becoming fully operational by the time pilots and ground crews were trained so they could, in turn, train others.
Any group of folks that would literally mount a horseback cavalry attack against Nazi aggression has my approval. (as if they needed it).
Part of the reasoning is that the Iraqis would go to the Russians for a fighter if we don’t provide it. An Iraqi military equipped with U.S. weapons becomes more dependent on the U.S. for spare parts and technicians. We have to try to start getting back our investment somehow.
Who is paying for these?
Geez, lets get them to take the bomb belts off the five year olds, before we equip them with any type of modern aircraft.
Iraq knows that it will continue to exist - under the umbrella of the US - against its neighbors.
There’s a time and place for everything - this isn’t the time nor the place.
The Iraqis. They have the cash now.
I do not trust them. Their government is shaky and they are beginning to warm to the Iranians.
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