The U.S. State Department has given the green light for a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Iraq of AC-208 light attack aircraft and related equipment, training, and support. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on 6th October 2016.
The Government of Iraq is seeking to purchase two Cessna AC-208 aircraft that include: dual-rail LAU-131 Hellfire launcher capability on each wing, AN/ALE-47 electronic countermeasure dispenser, AN/AAR-60 Missile Launch Warning System, AN/AAQ-35 ElectroOptical Infrared Imaging System, contractor aircraft modifications, spare parts, publication updates, aircraft ferry, and miscellaneous parts. The estimated total case value is $65.3m.
Cessna 208 Grand Caravans, on which the AC-208 is based, are converted by Orbital ATK, which adds day/night intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and precision counter-insurgency (COIN) capabilities. The AC-208 is easily convertible from “Clean Wing” ISR to armed operation with Hellfire Missiles. Own-ship targeting and weapons employment is provided via integrated targeting and fire control systems. Off-board data links provide full-motion video to ground stations or other aircraft.
Iraq originally purchased three AC-208 colunter-insurgency and three C-208 surveillance aircraft in 2008. The aircraft are used to support Iraqi military operations against al-Qaeda affiliate and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) forces.