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Author Topic: Ukraine, Iraq in $2.5 Bn Weapons Deal  (Read 2602 times)
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« on: December 12, 2009, 11:08:29 am »

Ukraine, Iraq in $2.5 Bn Weapons Deal


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Reports have surfaced that a $2.5 billion defense agreement between the Ukraine and the Iraqi Ministry of Defense will involve 420 of Khariv Morozov’s BTR-4 8×8 wheeled armored personnel carriers, 6 of Antonov ASTC/ Aviant’s AN-32B light military transport planes, and repair work on 2 of Iraq’s Mi-8T military helicopters. If these contracts go through, they would provide a significant boost to the Ukraine’s defense exports, and make that country one of Iraq’s top defense suppliers.

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With respect to these purchases:

The AN-32 offers good hot-weather and high-altitude performance, and is comparable to international competitors like the EADS-CASA C-295M and Alenia’s C27J Spartan. It would offer Iraq a mid-tier tactical transport alternative between its small fleets of King Air 350 light transports, and top-end C-130E/J Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft.

The AN-32’s high placement of the engine nacelles above the wing allows bigger propellers, driven by 5,100 hp AI-20 turboprops that almost double the output of the related AN-26’s engines. As a result, the AN-32’s 14,750 pound/ 6,900 kg load capacity is almost 50% better than its AN-26 cousin’s, with a 1,050 km/ 650 mile range at full load. More important to customers like Iraq, it can take off with much higher load fractions in hot and/or high-altitude conditions.

The AN-32B-300 built by Aviant adds even more performance by using Rolls Royce AE2100D engines and GE Aviation Dowty R391 8-bladed propellers, the same combination used on Alenia’s C-27J. When combined with Rockwell Collins avionics and improved communications, this modernized aircraft offers a wide range of performance upgrades, including 20%+ improvements in fuel efficiency and range under maximum load, and increased maximum cargo weight of 7,500 kg.

Previous DSCA solicitations had included Poland’s M28 Skytruck light tactical transport, but the AN-32 offers both higher capacity, and a familiar option for an air force that has used AN-26 aircraft in the past.

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The Ukranian BTR-4 is a versatile modernized design with amphibious capabilities, which resembles the BTR-80 that Russia alleges was its design base. The BTR-4 is an update of the BTR-3, which was the subject of an Iraqi export request for 336 vehicles in October 2007. That request would have been assembled by an international consortium led by the United Arab Emirates’ ADCOM Manufacturing Company, in partnership with Ukraine’s Kharkiv Morozov and State Scientific Technical Centre of Artillery & Rifle Arms. There is no information yet concerning the planned manufacturing arrangements for the BTR-4s.

KMDB’s BTR-4 accommodates a wide range of weapon fits, and can support roles from ambulance to anti-armor and even assault gun functions. This article’s headline picture shows a BTR-4 in an Infantry Fighting Vehicle role, fitted with a Grom 30mm turret equipped with guided anti-armor missiles.

DJ Elliott, who prepared the recent “Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: 2009-12,” notes the recent shift toward training Iraqi Special Operational Forces Strike Teams on older BTR-80s, adding that the amount of this order is about the right number to equip the planned number of ISOF strike teams.

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Contracts & Key Events

Dec 9/09: The Associated Press quotes former Ukranian defense minister and current head of the Ukrainian parliament’s security and defense committee Anatoly Grytsenko, regarding the $2.5 billion deal. Grystenko was briefed on the deal Wednesday by state arms exporter UkrSpetsExport, which is handling the contracts. He says that the deals have been agreed but remain to be formalized in a signed contract, and will be carried out in stages, with Stage 1 being worth about $400 million.

Nov 19/09: Rumors surface that Iraq will be buying AN-32 aircraft from the Kiev State Aircraft Plant “Aviant” for about $80 million. According to AKNews, The Iraqi Air Force will receive the first aircraft in about 8 months, after export approval is granted. Their source says that Iraq has chosen to purchase the AN-32s because they are adapted for hot and mountainous climates. Which is true, as customers like India and Afghanistan will attest.

Nov 9/09: Ukraine’s national news agency reports that:

“Ukraine is currently holding negotiations with Iraq on supplying the An-32 aircrafts, Industrial Policy Minister Volodymyr Novytsky has said. According to him, talks are also in progress with Libya on supplies and creation of an Antonov service center.”

Source: DID

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