Of course I meant "OOB". Sorry.
This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during April 2013. The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 30 April 2013. Key points include:
The 10 April Khaima Magazine had a full page article about the mechanical and electrical engineers beginning the 6th campaign to refurbish military equipment for the army. The article included pictures of BMP1 IFVs and Type 69-II tanks being refurbished. Equipment reported in the current batch included 16 T55 tanks, 10 BMP1 IFVs, 10 MTLB APCs, and 12 MRLs that were brought from a scrap yard in Mosul. There are multiple lines in the Taji Joint Factory that deal with separate vehicles including T72s, HMMWVs, BMP1, MTLB, M113, M109, BTR4, M1A1, and BTR80. 33 maintenance sheds have been rehabilitated to increase the repair capacity of the Taji facility.
Taji Base Factory may be expanding.
The 24 April Khaima Magazine reported on the Director of Artillery visit to the 2nd Medium Artillery Battalion, which is one of the artillery battalions of the Artillery (Training) Brigade based at the Artillery Directorate. Also observed was the Counter Battery Battalion (MRL) carrying out a live fire exercise.
First confirmation of the IGFC Artillery Brigade actually being the Artillery Directorate’s Training Brigade.
Also reported was the visit of the Commander of the 9th Armored Division to the 35th Armored Brigade in Rustimiyah where he inspected the new tank shelters, repair yard and training grounds. The troops of the 35th are also undergoing training on the Abrams tanks at Besmaya. The higher state of readiness for the 35th Brigade is in anticipation of deployment in support of Dijla [Tigris] Operations Command to relieve the 36th Armor Brigade.
While 35/9 Brigade has had previous training on M1A1s in 2012, this brigade has never been equipped with M1A1s. The brigade has 1 battalion of T72s while the 2-35/9 Battalion’s T-72s were transferred to another division. What appears to be happening here is a crew swap situation with the 36/9 Armored Brigade’s M1A1s being left in the field for the 35/9 Brigade to man.
Aviation and Air Defense
In late April, the last 3 C-130J’s for the IqAF were turned over and began their flight to Iraq.
Independent reporting indicated these 3 aircraft refueled at Shannon, Ireland on 1 May.
The contract for the second order of F-16 fighters was finally announced on 30 April. This brings the signed contracts for fighters to 36 F-16s with none delivered.
The first 4 F-16s are to deliver by 2014 with 36 delivered by 2017. Factoring in training time after delivery, these 2 squadrons will not be combat effective until 2015 and 2017. Even then, the CoS of the IqAF considers 96 fighters to be the minimum needed to provide a basic air defense. This indicates Iraq will not have an effective air defense until 2024-2027, given current rate of purchases and training.
Reporting on the Russian Arms deal is still confusing with numbers being all over the place. What is agreed is 40-50 Pantsir-S1 SHORADs and 24-40 Mi-28NE Attack Helicopters plus maybe 6 Mi-35 Attack Helicopters. Just as a sampling of the reporting:
The Pantsir-S1 is still a rip-off. Its missile command guidance is very susceptible to comms jamming equipment owned by every neighboring country – which reduces it to a very expensive 30mm gun system against any opponent. There is good reason why every Western Country dropped Radio Command Guidance for terminal phase 4 decades ago. Iraq is about to become the largest owner of this junk. Iraqi ADC plans for 7-12 batteries based on 4-6 weapons per battery.
Depending on how many Mi-28NEs are to be delivered – 1 or 2 squadrons are to be formed. If the Mi-35 report is correct, those helicopters could be used as conversion trainers similar to how the 6 SA342s are used for training future EC635 aircrew.
All articles agree with deliveries starting this summer which means the Russians are selling already built equipment – either undeliverable/cancelled Libyan/Syrian sales or used Russian inventory.
The 24 April Khaima reported on a visit by the Commander of the Army Aviation Command to Kut Air Base to inspect the progress in the preparation of the airbase life support facilities and HQs of the squadrons. Also visiting the base were heads of the Special Forces and the military intelligence.
Previous reporting on Kut indicated it was to house a Mi-17 Squadron and was a downlink point for IqAF reconnaissance aircraft. Contracts for completion of infrastructure indicate completion planned this summer.
Iraqi Ministry of Interior
A report published by Iraqi MoI’s website referred to a “Special Operations Regiment in Dhi Qar Police.”
This is the first indication of expanding MoI National Emergency Response Battalions in Dhi Qar.