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 it includes a combination of 43 Mi-35 (28) and Mi-28NE (15) attack helicopters, plus 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, but Iraq’s maintenance record suggests that this would be a very good idea. There has also been discussion in the press concerning MiG-29M2 fighters or armored vehicles as follow-on options, and the recent crisis in Iraq has led to a limited sale of refurbished SU-25 close air support aircraft.
The deals fill some important military and political holes for Iraq, and the full civil war in progress