Iraq to get 24 Korean T50 fighters early 2017:ministry


South Korean fighter jets T50 (Golden Eagle)

Baghdad ( Iraq is receiving 24 T50 (Golden Eagle) fighter jets from South Korea during the first quarter of 2017, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense said late Sunday.

The ministry statement said the air force leadership paid a recent visit to South Korea( did not mention the exact date) to get briefed about progress in manufacturing of the training and medium-fighting jets involved in an agreement reached in 2013. It added that the manufacturing process was finished, and delivery is scheduled during the first quarter of 2017.

The delivery was initially slated for April 2016, but the Suwaira airbase in Wasit province, where the new arrivals are planned to settle, is, however, not finished yet, an Iraqi air force major told Anadolu Agency on conditions of anonymity. The statement by the ministry said Iraqi pilots will be trained on conducting the equipment in Korea until the airbase is operational. Suggestions are also considered to deploy part of the jets temporarily at other airbases at Dhi Qar and Salahuddin.

Iraqi air forces, assisted by jets from a US-led international coalition, have been actively bombarding Islamic State militants’ locations in several Iraqi provinces as part of a major operation that launched in October to drive the group out of Iraq.

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