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Iraq lining up Turkish UAVs, jammers

Iraq is in the process of acquiring various military systems from several countries, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkey, to enhance its capabilities against the Islamic State extremist group, according to Minister of Defence Juma Inad.

In an extended interview with Iraq's Al-Sharqiya TV on 27 August, Inad said Baghdad has requested an offer from Turkey for the purchase of Bayraktar armed UAVs, noting they have been used successfully in northern Syria, Libya, and Azerbaijan. This was a reference to the Bayraktar TB2 that is made by the Turkish company Baykar and has already been exported to Azerbaijan, Qatar, and Ukraine.

Inad noted that the Bayraktar is capable of carrying guided weapons with a high level of accuracy. While only Turkish weapons have been integrated with the UAV to date, Inad said they include the US-made Hellfire missile that the Iraqi Air Force already uses with its Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft.

The minister said that Iraq is also interested in acquiring 12 Atak helicopters made by Turkish Aerospace Industries and systems for countering UAVs. โ€œThis is the golden age of drones and the threat that we face now and in the future is mainly from drones, so we must have adequate responses to this threat,โ€ he said, adding that Iraq will acquire six Turkish jamming systems.

Iraq is in the process of acquiring 14 French low-altitude radars that Inad identified as the G-200: a probable reference to the Thales GM200 medium-range radar. โ€œThe deal has not been signed yet, but the signing will be soon, and we have been discussing this matter with them for some time,โ€ he said.

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