Iraq is struggling to maintain its airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capability, especially its Chinese-made CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), according to a US inspector general report released on 6 August to review Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).
The report cited CJTF-OIR as saying that Iraq had acquired more than 10 CH-4s, but only one was fully mission capable because of maintenance problems.
The Iraqi Ministry of Defence unveiled armed CH-4B variants in October 2015 but did not state how many it had acquired. Jordan also acquired CH-4s but put them up for sale earlier this year for unspecified reasons.
The CH-4 is not the only problematic UAV type in Iraq's inventory. The inspector general report cited CJTF-OIR as saying the fleet of more than 10 US-made Insitu ScanEagle UAVs flew only two sorties between 1 March and 30 June because of a "combination of Iraqi training in the United States, a lapse in maintenance contracts, and problems with signal interference".
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