The Iraqi Ministry of Defence announced that it has signed contracts with the US and France to import advanced military weapons and equipment.
According to senior military commander Major General Abd Al-Ardawi, the agreements include the supply of high-powered artillery systems that have recently proven effective in fighting extremist groups.
He claims that cannons capable of targeting enemies at long distances are more effective in battle than aircraft and rifles. “The import of new guns will be part of the agreements with European countries,” he told the state-owned Iraqi News Agency.
The decision to import new military equipment is part of the government’s ongoing struggle with the Islamic State terror group. According to the representative of the department, Major General Abdel Ardawi, “the ministry has concluded contracts with France and America for the import of modern weapons, including artillery, which has proven itself in the recent period in the fight against terrorist gangs of the Islamic State”.
“The state is developing weapons for the security forces by importing long-range weapons that have proven effective in combat,” he said. “Iraq is interested in importing weapons to deal with everything that harms the state and help the security forces counter the enemy.”
This week, the head of the Iraqi Defence Industry Directorate, Mohammed Saheb al-Darraji, said that Baghdad would develop its defence industry.
The conditions that Iraq has gone through have depleted military and economic resources, and the country needs a new strategy to build up the defence potential and the capabilities of the army, and this strategy must be based on the fact that the power of the state is the basis of peace, and weapons are a means of deterring those who is plotting aggression against the republic, the official said. Iraq needs to increase the number and types of weapons, he said.
Al-Darraji added that the nature of wars has changed and cyber security, electronic and economic wars are coming to the fore, but the development of the military industry in Iraq is very important in order to prevent economic wars.
Al-Darraji had previously announced that Baghdad had signed memorandums of understanding with Turkey and Poland on the development of the military-industrial complex of Iraq and building up its potential in the field of armaments.
In addition, agreements on military-technical cooperation with Great Britain and Pakistan are under development. The Iraqi leadership approved projects for the assembly of combat aircraft, including locally produced fighters. Also, negotiations are underway with some countries on the assembly of helicopters, their repair and maintenance in Iraq. New lines for the production of light weapons and ammunition were put into operation.
The Iraqi military also received T-72 tanks and BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles from Bulgaria in February. The vehicles will be used to support various of missions, including counter-terrorism.