On Sept 15/10, the US DSCA announced [PDF] Iraq’s formal request to buy 440 refurbished M113A2 tracked Armored Personnel Carriers, which would be transferred from American stocks as Excess Defense Articles. The total contract value could be up to $131 million, and would also include 440 M2 .50 caliber machine guns mounted up top, 607 AN/VRC-90E Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radios Systems (SINCGARS), plus M259 Smoke Grenade Launchers, Combat Vehicle Crewmember Helmets, publications and technical documentation, tools and test equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, site survey, construction, personnel training and training equipment, and U.S. Government and contractor support.
The prime contractor will be BAE Corporation in Rosslyn, VA, and implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of multiple additional U.S. Government and contractor representatives to Iraq for a period of 2 years, with an option for additional years.
Iraq’s neighbors in Jordan and Saudi Arabia already operate M113s, whose light weight and tracks given them good all-terrain mobility. The M113A2 variant lacks the power train and transmission upgrades of the most modern M113A3 variants. Iraqi Order of Battle compiler DJ Elliott believes this order is part of an ultimate pool of 1,026 M113 APC, command, and mortar variants, which will accompany Iraq’s M1 tanks and serve is some of its mechanized divisions.
The Bell 412EP (Enhanced Performance) is a “twin Huey” with a 4-bladed rotor; while it lists as a commercial product on Bell’s site, over 30 militaries around the world employ it as a utility helicopter. Including Pakistan, which has operated 26 Bell 412s since 2007.
The USA has been sending more as “security assistance” aid for the government of Pakistan, and in the wake of huge national floods, a September 2010 DSCA request looks set to turn the 412EP into the mainstay of Pakistan’s utility helicopter fleet…