In October 2012, Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki signed a deal with Russia’s Rosoboronexport, variously estimated at $4.2 – $5.0 billion. The deal is characteristically murky, but is reported to include 30 Mi-28NE attack helicopters, and 42-50 mobile SA-22 Pantsir low-level air defense systems. Their combined cost is unlikely to approach $4 billion, unless very extensive long-term support arrangements are included. There has also been discussion in the press concerning MiG-29M2 fighters or armored vehicles as follow-on options.
The deal does fill some important military and political holes for Iraq. Even with a signed contract, however, completing the deal won’t be as easy as it was back in Saddam Hussein’s day.