Air Platforms

Iraq to receive armed 407GX helos to offset IA-407 losses

05 October 2018

Iraq is to receive five armed Bell 407GX helicopters that will be similar in configuration to the NorthStar Aviation 407 MRH (pictured). Source: IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

Iraq is to procure five armed Bell 407GX helicopters to offset IA-407s that have been lost over the battlefield in recent years.

The procurement, which was announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 4 October, covers the purchase of five of the JetRanger-derived helicopters, as well as weaponary and other equipment.

Weapons included in the deal comprise FN Herstal M240 7.62 mm and M3P 12.7 mm machine guns; General Electric GAU-19 12.7 mm Gatling guns; and M260 70 mm rocket launchers configured for the BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS).

Systems and other equipment include: MX-15Di electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turrets; AN/AAR-60 MILDS automatic plume detectors; AN/ALE-47 airborne countermeasure dispensing systems; night vision goggle (NVG)-compatible lighting; ballistic armour; IR-suppressing exhaust systems; and other ancillary items.

The weapons and systems will be integrated via the Tek Fusion Global Inc. (TFGI) Pathfinder mission management system (MMS) and Ares weapons management system (WMS), with the weapons being carried on a six-station Dillon Aero Mission Configurable Aircraft System (MCAS) weapons 'plank'.

The total value of the deal is USD82.5 million.

"The addition of five Bell 407GX helicopters will help compensate for the combat loss of seven IA-407 helicopters in recent years, and increase the Iraqi Security Forces' combat effectiveness against [the Islamic State] and other terrorist elements in Iraq," the DSCA said in its notification.

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