Iraq to buy 24 of Czech jets for $1 billion
BAGHDAD - Reuters
EPA photoIraq has agreed to purchase 24 combat and training aircraft from the Czech Republic for about $1 billion as part of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s program to rebuild the country’s air force and control its vulnerable airspace.
“We have a deal to buy 24 L-159-type aircraft from the Czech Republic. Four of them will be given for free and will be handed over within seven months,” Ali al-Moussawi, al-Maliki’s media advisor, told. Czech Defense Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek confirmed a deal. The jets meet NATO standards and can be armed. Around 80 percent of their components are foreign-made, notably in the U.S.