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Defense cooperation agency denies Iraq plans to break up contract with Russia

May 15, 2014, 20:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Under the contract, Russia is to supply 48 Pantsir-S1 air defense systems and 36 Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters to Iraq
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Russian military helicopter MI-28NE

Russian military helicopter MI-28NE

© EPA/SERGEI ILNITSKY

MOSCOW, May 15, /ITAR-TASS/. Media reports alleging that Iraq is planning to break up a $4 billion-worth contract with Russia are wrong, Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Director Alexander Fomin said on Thursday, May 15.

“This information does not correspond to reality. We are working with this foreign customer as before,” he said.

Fomin stressed that information regarding current and new contracts was a commercial secret and could not be discussed.

Under the contract, Russia is to supply 48 Pantsir-S1 air defense systems and 36 Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters to Iraq.

The Pantsir-S system designed for air defense of small military and administrative-industrial objects and areas against aircrafts, helicopters, cruise missiles and high-precision weapons, guided air bombs and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as for reinforcement of AD groups during repulse of massive air strikes and ensuring of engagement of lightly-armored targets.

Pantsir-S is considered to be a universal system capable to fighting planes, helicopters, ballistic and cruise missiles, guided aerial bombs, and other high-precision weapons. It can also be used for destroying underwater and surface light-armored targets and manpower.

The system consists of 12 surface-to-air guided missiles and two 30-millimetre automatic guns. It is provided with multi-range radar capable of detecting aerial targets with effective surface of dispersion of up to 2-3 square meters at a distance of more than 30 kilometers and track them down from a distance of over 24 kilometers.

It can also work in a passive mode using an infrared channel in the long-wave band with logical processing of the signal and automatic tracking.

The system can conduct fire at two targets at the same time and attack up to 12 targets within a minute. The system's effective range for missiles is 20 kilometers and the maximum altitude is eight kilometers, and for artillery shells up to three and four kilometers respectively.

The probability of destroying the target is 0.6 to 0.8 depending on its type and obstacles. The time of response is 5-6 seconds.

The Mi-28NE is the export version of the “Night Hunter” currently used by the Russian Army. This helicopter codenamed “HAVOC” by NATO was designed in the 1980s in response to the US Boeing AH-64 Apache. Its standard armament includes a 30mm chin mounted gun, two rocket BL13 rocket pods carrying five S13 (100mm) or 20xS8 (80mm) rockets plus and two pairs of AT-8 ATAKA anti-tank missiles pods each carrying four missiles.

Thirteen Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters manufactured by Russian Helicopters Holding Company were delivered to Iraq in January 2014.

According to As Sumaria TV channel, Russian vehicles will take part in antiterrorist operation to be carried out in Anbar province (western part of Iraq). This was the second shipment of Russian helicopters delivered to the Iraqi army. Fifteen helicopters of the type had been delivered to Iraq earlier.

The first group of Iraqi pilots and technicians completed training at Russia’s Torzhok training centre in the autumn of 2013.

The contract between Russia and Iraq (with a total value of about $4.2 billion) was signed in 2012 during the Iraqi president’s visit to Moscow.

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