In August 1990, Iraq’s Air Force had more than 500 aircraft in their inventory. The IqAF was decimated in 1991, after Saddam invaded Kuwait and ended up facing the US military and its allies. What remained was hobbled by extensive, and expensive, no-fly zones, until the war formally concluded in 2003 with a US-led invasion that eliminated Saddam’s regime. Rebuilding the IqAF under the new Iraqi government has been a slow process.
The C-130 Hercules was an early player in Iraq’s rebuilt air force, which remains small and focused on transport and surveillance missions. Positive experiences with the IqAF 23rd Sqn.’s 3 refurbished C-130Es, which fly from Baghdad International Airport, led Iraq to make a formal sale request for new C-130J-30s in July 2008. That was followed by a series of contracts for the planes, and the things that go with them. Deliveries, on the other hand, have taken until 2012. Even so, the most important deliveries under the contract are not planes.
Contracts and Key Events
(click to view full)
The stretched C-130J-30 is 15 feet longer than its C-130J counterpart, with most of the added fuselage length placed forward of the wing. C-130J-30s can carry 33% more pallets of equipment or supplies, 39% more combat troops, 31% more paratroopers, or 44% more aeromedical evacuation litters than previous unstretched Hercules versions like the IqAF’s C-130Es. The stretched C-130J-30 also shares the redesigned C-130J’s ability to use much more of its theoretical cargo capacity in hot or high altitude environments, a feature that will see a great deal of use in Iraq.
The contracts are issued to Lockheed Martin of Marietta, GA, and managed by the 657th AESS at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH.
FY 2014 – 2015
Nov 26/14: Sustainment for 2016-21. The US DSCA announces that the Government of Iraq requested a possible 5-year sustainment package for its C-130E/J fleet that includes operational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance, spare and repair parts, support equipment, repair and return, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support.
The estimated cost is $800M, and this seems easier for the US Congress to approve than armament sales that may end up in the hands of ISIL insurgents. But DSCA announcements are not contracts, especially insofar as Iraq is concerned. Cheap oil is not going to help, assuming that Iraq’s government can even sustain its oil-derived income in the first place.
FY 2011 – 2013
All 6 planes delivered.
Aug 23/13: Support. Lockheed Martin in Marietta, GA receives a maximum $44 million Undefinitized Contract Action modification, covering in-country contractor logistics support “post normalization” for “6 Iraq aircraft.” Iraq’s new C-130J-30s are by far the best fit.
Work will be performed at New al-Muthana Air Base in Baghdad, Iraq, and will run until June 30/15. USAF Life Cycle Management Center/WLNNC at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio (FA8625-11-C-6597, PO 0225).
April 29/13: #4-6 delivered. Lockheed Martin announces that it has ferried Iraqi C-130J-30s #4-6 to the USAF, as an interim step in delivering them to Iraq. Once the planes arrive in Iraq, they will complete the order, though the contract itself will continue with support services. Lockheed Martin.
All 6 delivered
Dec 12/12: 3rd delivered. The Iraqi Air Force receives its 3rd C-130J aircraft, via a rollout ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s factory in Marietta, GA. The other 3 will all be delivered in 2013.
Support is also moving ahead, with 16 recently-graduated Iraqi maintainers, 7 pilots, and 1 loadmaster coming out of US training. The program’s goal is for Iraq to train 50 maintainers, 18 pilots, and 18 loadmasters over a period of 3 years. USAF | Lockheed Martin.
Sept 5/12: Initial flight. Lockheed Martin announces that the 1st of 6 stretched IqAF C-130J-30 Super Hercules has completed its initial flight.
Jan 28/11: Support. A $16.9 million contract modification exercises an option to purchase support equipment and spares for Iraq, as well as logistic support services for Norway. Both are C-130J customers, and Norway has already received its 4 aircraft. At this time the entire amount has been obligated by the ASC/WLNNC at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH (FA8625-06-C-6456).
FY 2008 – 2010
Request for 6 aircraft.
Sept 29/09: C-130E. The Iraqi air force officially begins fully independent C-130E air operations, following a ceremony deactivating the U.S. Air Force’s 321st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, and marking assumption of C-130E operations, maintenance and training by the Iraqi air force’s Squadron 23 at New Al-Muthana Air Base. US DoD.
Aug 11/09: 2 more. A $140.3 million unfinalized firm-fixed-price contract modification for 2 more Iraqi C-130J-30s, completing the 6-aircraft request. The contract also includes engineering and integration tasks associated with Iraq’s distinctive C-130J configuration. At this time no funds have been obligated (FA8625-06-C-6456, PO 0098).
April 30/09: 4 planes. A firm-fixed-price contract modification, for an amount not to exceed $292.8 million, to buy 4 C-130J-30 aircraft for the Iraqi government. At this time, $6.9 million has been obligated (FA8625-06-C-6456, PO 0080).
The initial request was for 6 aircraft. Since the DSCA request went unchallenged, the exports are approved and Iraq’s government has the freedom to buy up to 2 more aircraft at a later date.
July 25/08: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Iraq’s official request for 6 stretched C-130J-30 aircraft, which will supplement the 3 refurbished C-130E’s that currently form Iraq’s medium transport fleet.
The estimated cost is $1.5 billion, and the prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX and Rolls-Royce Corporation in Indianapolis, IN. Going forward, up to 10 U.S. Government and 10 contractor representatives will participate in 2-week long annual technical and program management reviews. Lockheed Martin and Rolls Royce aren’t the only contractors for this request, however, which also includes defensive equipment from Alliant Techsystems and BAE Systems. The detailed request includes:
* 6 stretched C-130J-30 aircraft identical to the USAF baseline standard
* 28 Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 engines, (24 installed, 4 spare)
* 8 of ATK’s AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems (6 installed, 2 spare)
* 8 of BAE’s AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispensing Systems (6 installed, 2 spare)
Plus a stock of spare and repair parts, configuration updates, integration studies, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, technical services, personnel training and training equipment, foreign liaison office support, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, construction, and other related elements of logistics support.
DSCA request: 6
* DID (July 18/13) – Iraq: Weapons – and Challenges – In the Pipeline. The SIGIR report highlights maintenance as a difficult challenge for Iraqi forces, while looking at planned future acquisitions.
* Defend America.MIL (Feb 1/06) – Iraqi C-130 Aircrew Makes History. The first mission outside of Iraq flown by an all-Iraqi C-130 aircrew, transporting the interior minister and his staff to a summit in Tunisia.
* Defend America.MIL (July 11/05) – Airmen Teach C-130 Operations to Iraqis
* MNSTC-I (Feb 12/05) – Iraqi Pilots Fly Prime Minister for First C-130 Mission [PDF]. The aircraft are second-hand, refurbished C-130Es from the USA.