U.S. Cleared to Sell Attack Helicopters and Missiles to Iraq

Congress removes a key hurdle to delivering the choppers and weapons systems to help the nation fight its al-Qaeda insurgency

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Congress approved on Monday the delivery of six Apache helicopters to Iraq, the first shipment in what will be a $4.8 billion deal to help Baghdad battle an ever-growing insurgency in the country.

A plan by the Defense Department to sell as many as 24 AH-64E Apache helicopters hit a hurdle in recent weeks, as New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, blocked the deal, pending assurances that the Iraqi government would not use the helicopters against civilians. On Monday, Menendez removed his objections, clearing the way for the Pentagon to proceed with the first phase of the transfer, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been battling al-Qaeda-linked fighters in western Anbar province for weeks and has lobbied for more American weapons and intelligence; however, the Apache deal is not likely to impact the fighting in the near future. The Pentagon first plans to lease six Apaches to Iraq, which they will deliver this summer, to allow for Iraqi pilots to be trained on the aircraft. Then the sale of 24 Apaches and as many as 500 Hellfire missiles will take place over the next three years, according to the New York Times.

Amid the fighting in Anbar, the U.S. delivered 75 Hellfire missiles to Iraq in December. Meanwhile, violence continues across other parts of Iraq; on Sunday, shootings and car bombings killed nine people in Baghdad and as far north as Kirkuk, 180 miles away.

5 comments
IraqiFreedom
IraqiFreedom

WTF .... Now USA government will be responsible for crimes will be committed by Iraqi regime system against civilian people in Falluja and Ramadi . People there just defend them-self from regime system attacks ... The regime system shells both cities by air fighters and cannons .... A lot of civilians were killed or injured by them .

arvay
arvay

Hats off to the legislators who are ignoring pressure from AIPAC and other "that other country is my country" people -- especially those who happen to be Jewish, who are standing up to pressure that's going to be even nastier and more personal when applied to them. I personally have disagreements with Dianne Feinstein, but her stand on these issues is a real Profiles in Courage performance.

She and those like her deserve every American's thanks.

stephendavion
stephendavion

Iraq acquiring  AH-64E Longbow heli? Good news for Iraq Army. Nicknamed Guardian, the Boeing AH-64E is a heavily armed helicopter featuring powerful, fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology and electronics, as well as improved aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes. The helicopter also features a joint tactical radio system, electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) sensors to improve pilots' situational awareness and an oversea capacity, enabling potential strikes on smaller ships.

Boeing adds control of unmanned aircraft to the Apache helicopter's impressive capabilities. Using "eye-in-the-sky" technology, the Apache Guardian, the world's most advanced combat helicopter, is now even more effective in keeping soldiers safe.

Check out this Article which explains the capabilities of Apache AH-64E http://www.army-technology.com/features/feature-boeing-showcases-apache-guardian-video/

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

great, so congress just sent weapons to al qaeda, because you know that's who's going to be in control of them within 6 months. great job guys, you really know how to think things through