Baghdad has bought several used Sukhoi fighter jets from Belarus and Russia.
It has been stated by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in an interview to BBC.
He stressed that the fighter aircrafts can start flights over Iraq “in the next few days.” The Prime Minister has not specified what exactly fighters are expected to be delivered.
However, Nouri al-Maliki said that the US delay deliveries of F-16 planes.
The intentions of the Middle Eastern country to strike a contract with Russia on deliveries of military equipment for a total amount of $4.3 mln was reported in September 2012. The contract includes deliveries of Mi-28 helicopters of different kinds, Su and MiG aircrafts, as well as armoured vehicles and air defence systems. It had not been informed about agreements between Minsk and Baghdad on deliveries of fighter jets from Belarus before.
It is possible that the matter concerns Su-27 aircrafts. In January 2013 the press-service of the Defence Ministry of Belarus confirmed that they are no longer used by national Air Forces. These fighters has been used for more than 25 years, and are overage, their further use contradicts the principles of flights safety. According to experts, including the representatives of Sukhoi company, further modernization of Su-27 does not make sense.