Iraq has opted to spend $100 million to purchase Turkish Bayraktar TB2 UAVs rather than Russia's MiG-29 fighter aircraft.
The Iraqi authorities, contrary to recommendations from representatives for the defense department of the country, decided to abjure the acquisition of Russian MiG-29 fighters.
Iraqi officials believe that the use of Turkey's Bayraktar TB2 drones is more effective, so Iraq will spend about $100 million to purchase these UAVs from Turkey.
“The Iraqi authorities have approved the purchase of Bayraktar TB2 UAVs totalling $100 million from Turkey. The UAVs will be used to protect mountainous and desert areas, especially on the Syrian border, where the situation has been unfavorable recently,” a Turkish source said.
Earlier, it was assumed that Iraq could acquire 12 Russian MiG-29 fighters by selling American F-16 fighters currently in service with the country. However, apparently under the pressure from the United States, Baghdad was forced to refuse the acquisition of the Russian aircraft.
Taking into account the cost of one Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone, Iraq intends to receive about 20 unmanned aerial vehicles. At the same time, the Turkish drones will not be able to protect Iraqi airspace as Bayraktar TB2 drones can not be used to intercept enemy aircraft.