Iraq plans to buy Rafale fighters

Iraq buy French Rafale
French Rafale flies over Iraq in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defense is considering buying several French weapon systems including up to 14 Dassault Rafale fighters, according to Defense News.

"The Iraqi Air Force is intending to purchase 14 French Rafale fighter jets at a cost of $240 million, which will be paid in oil rather than cash," Ricklefs told Defense News. The $3,360-billion contract would likely include weapons, support, and training.

Iraq's interest in French fighters had been known for some time. In November 2020, Iraqi Defense Minister Juma Enad Saadou met with the French Chief of Staff of the Air and Space Force, General Philippe Lavigne, for a demonstration of the Rafale's capabilities at Air Base 113 in Saint-Dizier, France. Two months later, Saadoun confirmed Baghdad's interest in the Rafale jet.

With the latest order of 42 aircraft from Indonesia, Dassault Aviation recorded total sales of more than 420 Rafales. The Rafale has been among the fourth-plus generation platforms to enjoy the highest sales in recent years.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: USAF/Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb

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