Iraq’s New Integrated Air Defense System
The US may have left Iraq in 2012, but that country is a long way from being able to police its own airspace. The country’s air defenses involve just 2 airspace surveillance radars and 3 air-traffic-control radars, plus some Saddam-era anti-aircraft guns. In addition shoddy maintenance jeopardizes a small air fleet, though Iraq’s only armed aircraft are Cessna AC-208Bs.
Their first serious defensive systems will be short-range Pantsir S1 systems from Russia, but now an official export request outlines the backbone of Iraq’s future air defense architecture. If it’s installed, it would give them “a baseline tactical radar and threat intercept capability” with missiles, and eventually with their F-16IQ fighters.
Contracts & Key Events
Aug 5/13: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Iraq’s official request to import an Integrated Air Defense System. Requested items include:
- 40 Avenger Fire Units. Avenger is a short-range gun/missile system, mounted on HMMWVs. It’s in the same competitive class as the Pantsir S1s, but its Stinger missiles use their own targeting, instead of command guidance.
- 681 FIM-92H Block I Stinger Reprogrammable Micro-Processor (RMP) missiles.
- 3 HAWK XXI Batteries (6 Fire Units). Hawk missile systems are the PATRIOT’s predecessors, but they have been heavily updated over the years and have even demonstrated limited ballistic missile defense capabilities (MIM-23J/K). Engagement range is around 35 miles. The system is used by Iraq’s neighbors in Iran (from the Shah’s era), Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE. Hawk XXI systems would be on par with Turkey’s, and Iraq’s request includes 216 MIM-23P Hawk Tactical Missiles, 6 Battery Fire Direction Centers, 6 High Powered Illuminator Radars, 2 Mobile Battalion Operation Centers (BOC), 3 HAWK XXI BOC Air Defense Consoles (ADCs), 1DS/GS Shop 20, 1 DS/GS Shop 21, 1 Mini-Certified Round Assembly Facility (MCRAF).
- 13 AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel medium-range radars. Mobile. Can be used as part of Kongsberg of Norway’s NASAMS system, which is fully interoperable with Hawk XXI.
- 7 AN/YSQ-184D Forward Area Air Defense Command, Control, and Intelligence (FAAD C2I) Systems
- 75 AN/VRC-92E SINCGARS Radios
- Ground Air Transmit Receive Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency radio capability
- Facilities and construction for 1 underground Air Defense Operations Center and 2 Air Defense Sector Operations Centers
- Plus spare and repair parts, repair and return, software support, systems integration, long haul communication technical integration, communications equipment, support equipment and sustainment, tools and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, and other US Government and contractor support services.
The DSCA also acknowledges that the Integrated Air Defense Systems includes Lockheed Martin’s TPS-77 Long-Range Radars (the radars already ordered and in place), 10 Medium Range Radars, and the Omnyx-I0 Air Command and Control System.
The estimated cost is $2.403 billion. If contracts are negotiated, the principal contractors involved in this program would be:
- Lockheed Martin Corporation in San Diego, CA (TPS-77)
- Thales Raytheon Systems in Fullerton, CA (Sentinel)
- Boeing Company and American General (Avenger)
- Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, PA
- Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Andover, MA (Stinger, Hawk)
- Northrop Grumman in Rolling Meadows, IL
- Kratos Defense and Aerospace in Huntsville, AL
- DID – Iraq: Weapons – and Challenges – In the Pipeline
- DID – Baby Come Back: Iraq is Buying Russian Weapons Again. Including Pantsir S1 mobile short-range air defense systems.
- DID – Iraq Orders a Long-Range Radar. Now confirmed to be the mobile AN/TPS-77.
- DID – The New Iraqi Air Force: F-16IQ Block 52 Fighters. They’ll also be part of Iraq’s future IADS.
- Boeing – Avenger
- Lockheed Martin – Long-Range Ground-Based Air Surveillance. Which includes the TPS-77 transportable radar, with a range of up to 250 nautical miles.
- Raytheon – Stinger
- Raytheon – Hawk XXI
- ThalesRaytheonSystems – AN/MPQ-64F1 Improved Sentinel. Radar range is 90 – 120 miles.
- Kongsberg Gruppen – Ground Based Air Defence Systems. They’re involved in HAWK XXI and NASAMS.