Author Topic: U.S. confronts difficulties in arming Iraqi air forces with missiles and F-16s  (Read 410 times)

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Offline EC

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Despite complaints by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the United States has been slow in its delivery of F-16 fighter jets, no Iraqi pilot team has qualified to fly the aircraft in combat and none will be ready before mid-August, according to an official at the U.S.-based program where the pilots are being trained.

That problem is one of many the Obama administration is confronting as it tries to speed more equipment to the Iraqi air force to help it defeat the Islamic insurgency engulfing the country. There are also challenges in providing or quickly deploying laser-guided Hellfire missiles and Apache combat helicopters, and concerns that the weaponry going to Iraq could be used against political targets.

As the crisis worsens, the Pentagon and Congress are scrambling to send hundreds of Hellfires to Iraq, but only two planes in the Iraqi air force are capable of firing them, both turboprop Cessnas. The U.S. military is rushing to figure how to retrofit other rudimentary aircraft that the Iraqis can fly.

For the moment, the United States has been left with accelerating the shipment of 1,132 Hellfires that Congress has approved for sale to Iraq. A Pentagon spokesman said that more than 400 have been delivered this year and that Congress is interested in sending hundreds more beyond the current order.

Lukman Faily, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, said in Washington this week that Baghdad had asked the administration “again and again” for air support such as Apache helicopters and without it, Iraq has been forced to turn to Russia for fighter jets. “We don’t have choices,” said Faily. “The situation on the ground is pushing us to choose whoever will support us.” Russia sent several disassembled Su-25 fighter jets to Iraq this week, and Iran has also supplied Su-25s.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-confronts-difficulties-in-arming-iraqi-air-forces-with-missiles-and-f-16s/2014/07/03/3784ac22-0224-11e4-8572-4b1b969b6322_story.html

In all bluntness, and with respect to the fine machine that is the F-16, the Iraqis are better off going for Russian. Those are designed for poor maint and below average pilots.
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Offline Carling

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I thought Barry said the USA wasn't taking sides in this civil war. 
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Offline EC

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I thought Barry said the USA wasn't taking sides in this civil war.

He's not. The F-16 delivery was arranged during the Bush administration. So he can blame Bush yet again ....
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Offline Carling

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He's not. The F-16 delivery was arranged during the Bush administration. So he can blame Bush yet again ....

Which side are our military "advisers" actually advising?  Did Barry split them up 50/50 between ISIS and the Malaki government?
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Offline EC

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Which side are our military "advisers" actually advising?  Did Barry split them up 50/50 between ISIS and the Malaki government?

At the moment - it's the Malaki government in Iraq. If ISIL want advice, they have to nip back into Syria. You know what ri offs roaming charges are like there. Positively criminal.
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Offline Dexter

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I thought Barry said the USA wasn't taking sides in this civil war.

The USA feels the need to take a side in all foreign affairs.
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Online Fishrrman

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Those F-16's and missiles are going to be in the hands of the jihadis before too much longer.

Not that they will know what to do with them...

Offline EC

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Not that they will know what to do with them...

NEVER do that. A 6th century ideology does not equate to 6th century technology.

Jihadis are smart, well educated, well trained and perfectly capable of handling advanced weapons, especially something like the F-16, which pretty much flies itself. We're not looking at Abdul al-Suicide Bomber here - we are looking at people who are highly intelligent and very well trained indeed.

Dismissing the threat is a foolish thing to do. They may not have many pilots as yet, but you can assume that those pilots would put Top Gun to shame. They have been flying and fighting for a decade or so. Give them a few hours and they'll make the bitch sing.
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Offline Oceander

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In all bluntness, and with respect to the fine machine that is the F-16, the Iraqis are better off going for Russian. Those are designed for poor maint and below average pilots.

I'd have to agree with that.  Most of the basic russian weaponry is, or at least was, designed with the peasantry in mind, not the college-educated middle-class.


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