The Iraqi Federal Police is currently in the process of receiving the Textron Commando Select armoured vehicles that were ordered last year, Jonathan Dalrymple, vice president for business development at Textron's Marine and Land Systems division, told Jane's at the IDEX show in Abu Dhabi.
"We are delivering tranches of vehicles; the first got there about two months ago and went straight to the front," he said.
The Iraqi Federal Police has become an increasingly heavily armed force that is playing a major role in the operation to retake the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State militant group. It has been using the earlier Commando Armoured Security Vehicle (ASV) variant since 2004, when it received the first of more than 300 vehicles.
The new vehicles are being built under a USD66 million contract announced by the US Department of Defense in April 2016. This covered 60 Commando Selects for Iraq and another 60 for Colombia, but Dalrymple said the Iraqis will actually receive 58 as two have been diverted to Colombia.
He said the new vehicles will replace losses suffered by Federal Police and all them will be delivered with the 40/50 turret, each armed with an automatic grenade launcher and heavy machine gun, but Iraq has also requested another 300 Selects, including those fitted with a CMI turret with a 90 mm low-pressure gun, a variant that has already been ordered by the Afghan army. Textron hopes the Iraqi request will be approved by the US government in the coming months.
Dalrymple outlined the advantages of the Select over the ASV, which is no longer in production. To increase its survivability when hit by mines or large improvised explosive devices, the vehicle has been raised, the hull redesigned to give it more of a V-shape, add-on belly armour is an option, the wheels have been moved further from the centreline, the wheel arches have been redesigned to help direct the blast outwards, and the fuel tanks now bolt on to the front so they are blown off away from the vehicle.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options: ihs.com/contact