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Iraqi Security Force Update October 2012


Divisional OOB as of 30 September 2012 



This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during September 2012.  The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 30 September 2012.


Two different OOB maps are provided and a survey of comments will decide which remains for future updates.


Changes have been made to pages 2-5 to list the Iraqi Army Divisions by current type vice planned.  [Surprisingly, 75 percent chose Current type vice organizing by Operational Commands or regionally - The biggest gripe when I re-organized last year was that I was not organizing by corps/regional areas.] 

  • Page 2 Armor:  Divisions with 2 or more Armor Brigades.  9th Armored Division.
  • Page 3 Mechanized:  Divisions with 2 or more Mechanized/Armored Brigades but, no more than 1 Armored Brigade.  5th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 14th Mechanized Divisions.
  • Page 4 Motorized:  Divisions with 2 or more Motorized/Mechanized/Armored Brigades but, no more than 1 Armored or Mechanized Brigade.  2nd, 3rd, and 6th Motorized Divisions.
  • Page 5 Infantry:  Divisions with 3 or 4 Infantry Brigades.  1st, 4th, 11th, 12th, and 17th Infantry Divisions.


Highlights in this update include:  

  • KRG 6th Regional Guards Cavalry Brigade. 
  • TOC/RaOC not operational; 15 IA Divisions still claimed; 10th Division mechanized with M113s; Artillery update;  Third BTR4 shipment planned for end-year; T72s finally go to 3-15/12 Tank Regiment. 
  • First IqAF C130J test flight; First Armed Bell 407s delivered; First 2 F16s scheduled for September 2014 delivery; Russian, Czech, and Korean aircraft buys rumored but not reported signed.




[A late entry from 19 July 2012 reporting on a new KRG brigade.]

"The 6th Cavalry Brigade is a result of the unification of Unit 70 of the Peshmerga Forces General Command (which was loyal to the PUK) and Unit 80 of the Revolutionary Army Command (loyal to the KDP). At the headquarters of the unified brigade in Chwarqurna, you would not be able to tell what Peshmerga was affiliated with Unit 70 or Unit 80 because they all wear the same uniform."

Cavalry normally means mounted troops.  However, it is undetermined what mounts this Regional Guards Brigade uses – horses, trucks, or APCs?  Horse mounted troops cannot be discounted given the terrain in that area.




While Tigris Operational Command and Rafidain Operational Commands may have been ordered formed, both areas are being covered by the IA Divisions when it comes to admin matters.  This indicates that neither of these commands is actually operational.


Iraqi press reporting continues to claim there are 15 Iraqi Army Divisions yet there are no reports of what this additional Division is called.  The only confirmed IA Divisions are the 1st-12th, 14th, and 17th. 


The 10th Division was referred to as a "mechanized division” for the first time when its Commander opened a new communications center.  In a follow up report, the 10th Division has received 459 M113 variants.  Reportedly, 9 battalions of the 10th Division have been rotated through specialist training at Besmaya for the M113s and additional training will continue until the end of the year.  This indicates an increased priority for 10th Division.  If the M113 Family of Vehicles ratio is same as the overall mix in the 1,026 being provided [618 APCs out of 1,026], then 7 battalions of M113 APCs are in this division vice the previously indicated 3-4.  The additional 2 battalions mentioned are probably cargo carrier variants for the Brigade Support Battalions or M1064 Mortar carriers for the Brigade Mortar Battalions.  The 10th Division only has 1 Tank Regiment – it is still short 4 Tank Regiments [140 tanks].  This distribution also means that the “armor” training being received by the adjacent 14th Division is probably not on M113s since there are not enough M113s to go around.


IMoD’s Khaima Magazine provided an update on IA Artillery. 

  • The first 5 artillery Battalions [FARs] were formed in 2011 and spread over the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 11th, and 17th Divisions.
  • A 122mm Artillery Rocket Battalion [BM21] is under the "Artillery Command". 
  • 2x 107mm Artillery Rocket Batteries [Type 63] were issued to 5th and 12th Divisions. 
  • 144 "US" artillery units were handed over to the operational combat units after completion of all their training. Also 112 Oshkosh artillery tractors were handed over to the operational units.  The 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 12th, and 14th Divisions received those artillery pieces.   A single artillery battalion of 3 batteries [6 guns each] per division. 
  • According to the article each brigade should have an artillery battalion of 3 batteries when arming is complete.  [72 howitzers/MRLs per division.]
  • 15 heavy artillery battalions in total are operational in the army, one of which remains with the "artillery command" and 14 for the 14 army divisions. [25 percent of planned for IA divisions.]
  • 55 light artillery batteries were trained and equipped and spread over all the IA Brigades at the rate of 1 battery per brigade.  [120mm Mortars, only 33 percent of planned for IA brigades.]
  • An additional ~100 pieces of salvaged pieces will join the artillery units by next year [5-6 additional FARs].  


Since it is known which divisional FARs are US 155mm [8] and that there are 15 total artillery Battalions [Regiments], which means salvaged FA is 7 FAR at 18 tubes each.  24 M109, 120 M198, 18 BM21M, 12 Type 63, and 96 other salvaged howitzers. [Salvaged howitzers estimated as 12 GHN45, 54 Type 83, 18 M46, and 12 D30 based on photos and Army Day parades.]


The second shipment of BTR4s has finally shipped.  No explanation for delay.  "Replying to the question about the dates of acceptance of the third batch of the BTR-4s, Vadim Kozhevnikov said that that shipment of 94 vehicles is planned to be carried out late in 2012."  [I’ve heard that before.]


The 3-15/12 Tank Regiment finally got its hand-me-down T72s.  Despite the hyperventilating press, this upgrade has been in the works for over 2 years.




Iraq’s First Super Hercules Takes to the Skies. 

"MARIETTA, Ga., Sept. 05, 2012 – The first of six C-130J Super Hercules for the Iraqi Air Force recently completed its first flight here. The Iraqi Air Force intends to use the C-130J for intra-theater support of its troops and humanitarian relief operations in various locations. These new transport aircraft will provide Iraq with the ability to operate seamlessly with U.S., NATO and coalition forces. The first C-130J for Iraq is scheduled for delivery later this year." 


The first batch of Armed Bell 407s were delivered to Taji.  They have already participated in a live-fire exercise. 


Despite political claims to the contrary: 

"The network quoted Iraqi media government Air Force Commander, Gen. pilot Anwar Hama Amin, as saying that any delay in the schedule of the arrival of aircraft F-16 does not exist, though the rumors about it incorrectly.  He added that the first installment, which includes two aircraft will arrive to Iraq in September/September 2014, and in accordance with the agreement signed between the two countries.  The Secretary stated that the second installment, and includes 4 aircraft, will reach the end of March/March 2015, while access will be completed all contracted aircraft, and the 18 aircraft, by the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016." 

Politicians, including PM Maliki have been repeatedly claiming a delivery starting in 2013 despite the contract specifying a 2014-2016 delivery as a way to distract from their own delays in purchasing these aircraft.  When they don’t have the aircraft in 2013, they will claim it is the US’ fault and not their delays in contracting. 


"Media sources quoted Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi, will visit Russia early next month to put the final touches to the military contracts valued at $ 5 billion. And the signing of these contracts will be during a visit to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to Moscow on the tenth of October next, noting that Maliki will meet in his senior Russian officials, and possibly file search Syrian crisis. The source indicated that «military contracts will include Sukhoi and MiG aircraft and helicopters Mi Russian in addition to military equipment." 

Rumors and speculation are all over the place.  What is clear is that the contracts are not yet signed.  Most of the rumors also indicate a mix of SAMs, Fighters, Helicopters, and armor.  There are also rumors of both Korean T50 and Czech L159 buys going through as well.


Hi DJ Great update as always , I have to disagree about the Russian deal though , simply because al-Maliki himself said that the deal was going through to the Russia-today news agency . And sources from both sides have confirmed it , plus almaliki is going to Russia on the tenth. And he's the guy who gives the approval for these deals. Not to mention its important for him to keep all the options open , any how we'll see what happens in ten days.

JW (10/03/2012 11:26:55)


Seen it repeatedly before. Wait until signed...

DJ Elliott (10/03/2012 08:52:33)


And yes, I'm jaded on the subject of Russian arms sales to Iraq. Been talked about for over 9 years without there being a direct sale. Third party sales yes - no direct sales. If this happens, it will be the first official direct sale by Russia to Iraq since the collapse of the USSR 2 decades ago. Which means that the Iraqis do not have experienced personel in working with these newer systems and will require the same long training as for any other MODERN system that they do not already have...

DJ Elliott (10/04/2012 05:24:21)


Have you heard the latest? PM Maliki is saying they are NOT buying MiGs or Sukhois...

DJ Elliott (10/05/2012 04:04:02)


I loved Pravda's spin on the whole deal. They made it sound like they were doing the Iraqis a favor buy steering them away from the old, outdated and overpriced weapons of the occupier whilst providing no additional details about what it is they are actually buying. Lol, gotta love it. If this deal actually goes through DJ, just what is the most likely big ticket items are the Iraqis actually buying? Tanks? APCs? A useful IADS? And how much of this is actually going to be compatible with the systems that are actually in use? I mean, don't get me wrong I would be glad to see them actually ink a large weapons deal with someone but for all the bluster and whining, the US has been the only country up until now to truly deliver on the orders placed. (Sure Ukraine and Serbia are making good finally on deliveries, but have they been able to 'deliver'?)

Trophy_Wench (10/08/2012 11:17:09)


TW: You are thinking too big. The Pantsir S1 buy that almost all the speculation mentions is a start on an air defense. However, if the price mentioned [2.3 Billion] and the numbers mentioned in Russian press [41] are accurate - they are charging Iraq more than 3x what they did Algeria. There is good reasons why the only Russian deals since 2003 have been through the US FMS - Russia may have officially canx Iraq's debt but, they still want their 2 dollars. None of the plausable speculation describes anything other than a small improvement in capabilities 3-5 years from now - you have to factor in delivery and training time. Iraq has no experience in any of the systems mentioned - so training is from scratch... //// Nobody wants maps I guess - less work for me then.

DJ Elliott (10/09/2012 01:17:56)


"A noted military analyst and the Vedomosti business daily both reported that the $4.3 billion negotiated arms agreement involves 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters and 42 Pantsir-S1 surface-to-air missile systems. Further discussions are reportedly underway for Iraq’s eventual acquisition of MiG-29 jets and heavy armored vehicles along with other weaponry." //// //// 1 Squadron of Attack helos and 7-14 batteries of point defense depending on how thin they spread the ADA. My bet is 1 battery of 3 units per IA Div.

DJ Elliott (10/09/2012 07:27:45)


Hi DJ Iraq had signed the deal with Russia since April and August of this year . It includes the mil mi 28NE and pantsir , but it seems the price is too high ,could it mean they got the helos with MMW Radars and the pantsir with the EASA radars , or did they buy something else , what do you think?

JW (10/09/2012 11:36:22)


Fair enough DJ, but still if the numbers hold true, 42 Pantsir-S1 systems is still a good start. (From the looks of it, I'm willing to bet they chose that b/c of their use by other nations in the region. And supposedly rather cost effective too.) I also like the choice of the Havoc here, they have many similar systems to the Mi-17 so that should (should being the operative word here) work well with Iraqi logistics. As for the price gauging, well that's the new Russia for you. Now, as for any future MiG-29 buy, I would hope that they would seriously consider the MiG-35. Its western compatibility makes sense and its systems/ design enhancements, like that of the Super Hornet, allows an older design to stay more relevant longer.

Trophy_Wench (10/09/2012 06:43:36)


Both systems first fielded in 1982. The Pantsir-S1 is just a truck mounted SA19. Neither went into mass-production. That is a sure sign of a Soviet failed design. And the USSR had a decade to seriously field them before the colapse. A start, maybe. A rip-off, definately. Note that Radio-Command-Guiadance SAMs were dropped from the US in the 1970s - too easy to jam...

DJ Elliott (10/09/2012 07:03:09)


Unfortunately, you announce the major items. Anything more is going to be minor. Even at half the announced price, this is a rip-off. I'm basing my comments on price on the 2.3 billion number...

DJ Elliott (10/09/2012 07:09:17)


PM Maliki has announced a buy of L159s during the visit to Prague. Reporting is saying 24, 28, and "several dozen" so far. Sounds like we have a winner for Jet Trainer...

DJ Elliott (10/11/2012 10:27:37)


Another good pick if you ask me. (Though I personally still would have gone for the Golden Eagle.) Can you provide an open source at this time DJ? BTW, saw the blurb on DID do you think that the BMP-3 could really cut it as a numbers filling light tank? I suppose as a replacement for the BMP-1s or even the EE-9s sure but putting them out there as a replacement for actual tanks seems odd, even for an Arab military. Even that speculative part about the T-90s seems odd. I mean sure, SA has looked into them and I'm sure other countries in the region have window shopped the tank but if they really want to fill numbers, just do what the Venezuelans did and buy cheaper, heavily upgraded T-72s, a tank that Iraq already operates.

Trophy_Wench (10/11/2012 08:34:02)


Most of what I'm seeing is RUMINT ATT. Talk is 24 single-seat and 4 two-seat Trainers L159. That would make a good Jet conversion squadron with light attack capabilities. Rumor is the T90s were turned down and Malaki has denied armor buys from Russia - so that speculation is out the window. Interesting Rumor from Czech is buying an Iraqi Armor maintenance/upgrade capability in Iraq. Czech only upgrades/builds 6 armor vehicles and T72 is their only tank which makes used T72s the likely tank buy - upgraded in Iraq to T72M4CZ. //// Note: Some of my speculation with Joe at DID goes all over the place with the current reporting. Denial of armor came later. BMP3 is probably off the table. My use of this inferior BMP [BMP2 is better] would be as Cav vehicle [Cdos], but GoI doesn't always agree with me and they do sometimes call BMP bns "Tank Bns" which points to possible light armor/light mech brigade configurations - simular to French Lt Armor/mech mixes. I personnaly do not like the possibility but, I'm analysing Iraqi possible choises and cannot exclude it...

DJ Elliott (10/11/2012 11:10:47)


Hi DJ I've been reading a lot on the deal for the L159, and the word new keeps coming up -either the L159A has to be changed to the two seater L159T1 or they are new build . Because it doesn't add up 2-4 years to deliver the aircraft that are supposed to be stock , 1B for the deal that means every aircraft is about 40m which very close to the price of the f16's . I don't get it do you???????

JW (10/12/2012 04:27:30)


So let me get this straight; Czech would develop a maintenance/upgrade sustainment capability in Iraq, for Iraq with Czech technology? Wow. That would be pretty impressive if the rumors hold true. It would basically turn the Czech Republic into the new Yugoslavia for them wouldn't it?

Trophy_Wench (10/12/2012 07:25:00)


Just reading up on the L-159 deal talk. Word on the streets of Prague is that Aero is going to provide an upgraded version specifically for Iraq called L-159BQ that would enable greater compatibility for LIFT for the F-16s. If thats the case, then any potential Russian fighter deal should really be looking into airframes that can support western avionics and weapon upgrades. :cough:MiG-35:cough:

Trophy_Wench (10/12/2012 07:38:02)


It is a T72 Tank Upgrade facility which means Iraq is probably getting more T72s from somewhere [Taji?] Could explain why I keep hearing the IA has 15 divs but no new divisions mentioned. 24 of the L159s are to be built in 2-4 years - New built L159BQ 2-seater trainer/Lt Attack to IqAF specs. 4 are used from Czech stocks and will be delivered in 7 months. these details esplain the price. //// Still missing data on Russian buys but, since the armor was rejected - probably only 2.3 billion. Also hearing of additional radars and negotiations for SA20 [S300]. Which makes Pantsir start to make sense - Russia uses SA19 for cruise-missile defense at SA20 sites and Pantsir is a truck mounted SA19. Avoids mutual interferance of radars/comms. Based on 42 Pantsir = 7 batteries, I even have a good idea where the 7 ADC bases with SA20 would go... //// Monday/Tuesday publishing of the write up of what I have by Monday. My pessimism of the buys is starting to ease now that I think I know what is not being said...

DJ Elliott (10/13/2012 12:49:21)


No comment on which map is preferred. I guess no map is needed. So be it...

DJ Elliott (10/23/2012 03:58:57)

DJ Elliott