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Iraqi Security Force Update April 2013



Divisional OOB as of 31 March 2013


This Iraqi Security Force (ISF) update provides a summary of changes to the ISF during March 2013.  The Iraqi Security Force Order of Battle is updated as of 31 March 2013.  Key points include:

  • SIPRI Arms Register updated - Bulgarian MTLB deal confirmed; Indications of planned additional M1A1 buys; Wasit confirmed in RaOC; Number of armor vehicles provided to 8th Division; IA received more T-72s from unknown source?; More evidence of 4th Division training to be Airborne; JOC HQ reported standing up in Sinjar. 
  • SIPRI Arms Register updated – Numbers of Ingwe and Stingers listed; Russian deal resumes – numbers of Mi-28NE Attack Helicopters and Pantsir SAMs still in question; Diverse air and air defense shopping/training by Iraq.




Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has updated their arms register as of the end of 2012.   The below list is declared exports to Iraq with deliveries noted where made as of 31 December 2012 [All previously reported – only new data is numbers of R-2 ATGW and confirmation of Bulgarian MTLB APC export deal.]:

  • USA: 140 M-1A1 Abrams Tank (140 delivered) Ex-US M-1A1 rebuilt to M-1A1AIM version; option on 140 more. 
  • USA:  6 M-1A1 Abrams Tank Ex-US M-1A1 rebuilt to M-1A1AIM version. 
  • USA:  8 M-88A2 HERCULES ARV; delivery 2014. 
  • Bulgaria: 500 MT-LB APC; Ex-Bulgarian; modernized before delivery.
  • Ukraine: 270 BTR-4 IFV (60 delivered); delivery probably 2011-2014. 
  • Ukraine:  2700 R-2 Anti-tank missile; (795 delivered) For BTR-4E IFV. 
  • Ukraine:  150 BTR-4K APC (28 delivered); incl BTR-4K and BTR-4KSh command post, ambulance and BREM-4 ARV version; delivery probably 2011-2014. 
  • USA:  834 M-113 APC (834 delivered) Ex-US; M-113A2 version; modernized before delivery; incl command post, mortar-carrier, ambulance and other versions. 
  • USA:  9 Cougar APC (9 delivered) ILAV version. 
  • USA:  120 M-198 155mm Towed gun (120 delivered) Ex-US; aid. 
  • USA: 565 K-6 120mm Mortar; (565 delivered) M-120 version. 


Given that 2nd Division received the existing Iraqi MTLBs [61] and 14th Division has received "Armor training" while all other armor has been accounted for, the Bulgarian MTLBs probably are planned as the APC component for mechanizing those 2 divisions.


The 27 February Khaima had a full page article about the graduation of the 12th batch of M1A1SA "foundation course" students.  This is the 12th and final course for the 9th Armored Division.  The number of trainees were 47 from the 3rd Company, 5-36/9 Armored Battalion. The training lasted for 3 months with 590 total trainees in the entire program - 140 tanks and 12 tank companies as well as 36 tank recovery vehicles. The next stage is the training of a "training cadre" for the Abrams tanks for the future which will include 40 trainees to be trained as trainers.  

This indicates plans for additional M1A1 buys.


The 6 March Khaima had an interview with the Commander of the 8th Division General Hasen Mohammed Mahus.  Key items mentioned included that:  The change from Infantry to Mechanized Infantry increases the war fighting capability of the unit for external defense purposes especially since our border areas are good geographically for mechanized units to operate in.  We have been provided with 470 armored vehicles by the armor directorate of various types, all of these were imported from the US. The troops are undergoing training at Besmaya for their conversion.  Wasit province has been moved from the Central Euphrates Command to the Rafidain Command which has reduced the geographical area that the unit has to cover. 

This confirms the transfer of Wasit to RaOC.  The 470 armored vehicles includes more than just M113 APCs and is the same amount of armor provided to 10th Division when it was mechanized.  Both divisions are still short or do not have tanks.


The 13 March Khaima reported on the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces visit to the Transport and Logistics Command. They discussed the standing up of the fire fighting units and improvements to the capability of the fuel delivery units. Iraq now has enough tank transporters to meet its logistical needs. Each unit of the Transport and Logistics Command consists of a Fuel Truck Battalion, Truck Battalion, Tank Transport Battalion and a Fire Fighting Unit. 

This indicates that the Taji General Transport Regiment has been expanded to a Transport Brigade and that the Corps-level support will include a National Depot [Brigade] and a Transport Brigade.


Additionally, the 1-35/9 Armored Battalion at Rustumiya received its T72 tanks. 

Where are the additional T-72s from?  There have been no reports of additional buys of T-72s by Iraq.  Nine IA battalions have been reported training on T-72s and 5 have been reported equipped but, only 4 battalions worth of T-72s are known to be in the IA’s possession… 


The 20 March Khaima reported that the Rapid Reaction Battalion of the 4th Division completed training on airborne operations in cooperation with Army Aviation Command. 

4th Division has been expected to be the IA’s airborne force due to its extensive airmobile experience and reported paratroop training.  This also probably means the division is probably planning to relocate in or adjacent to New Al Muthanna AB [BIAP] – home of the IqAF Transport Wing.


The new Jazeera Operational Command HQ is reported to be establishing at Rabiyah in the Sinjar District of Ninawa.


Aviation and Air Defense


Mar20:  Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has updated their arms register as of the end of 2012.   The below list is declared exports to Iraq with deliveries noted where made as of 31 December 2012 [all previously reported – only new data is the numbers of Ingwe ATGW and Stinger SAMs being provided]:

  • USA:  18 F-16C Block-50/52 FGA aircraft; F-16C Block-52 or F-16IQ version; incl 6 F-16D; delivery from 2014. 
  • USA:  20 AAQ-33 Sniper Aircraft EO system; delivery by 2015. 
  • USA:  4 DB-110 Aircraft recce system; for use on F-16 combat aircraft; delivery probably by 2018. 
  • USA:  4 AN/APG-68 Combat ac radar AN/APG-68(V)9 version; spares for F-16 combat aircraft. 
  • USA:  18 F-16C Block-50/52 FGA aircraft F-16C Block-52 or F-16IQ version; delivery 2018; selected but contract possibly not yet signed. 
  • Czech Republic: 24 L-159B Trainer/combat ac; delivery possibly from 2015. 
  • Czech Republic 4 L-159B Trainer/combat ac; Ex-Czech; delivery 2013. 
  • USA:  24 F-124 Turbofan for 24 L-159B trainer/combat aircraft from Czech Republic. 
  • Ukraine: 6 An-32/Cline Transport aircraft; (6 delivered) An-32B version. 
  • USA: 6 C-130J-30 Hercules Transport aircraft (3 delivered); delivery 2012-2013. 
  • Germany (FRG): 24 EC-135/EC-635 Light helicopter; (24 delivered); armed EC-635 version; ordered via France. 
  • South Africa: 300 Ingwe Anti-tank missile; (300 delivered) For EC-635 helicopters. 
  • USA: 24 Bell-407 Light helicopter (15 Armed version delivered); option on 26 more; delivery 2012-2013.  
  • USA:  1 AN/TPS-77 Air search radar; designation uncertain. 
  • USA:  8 Avenger Mobile SAM system; 'ISFF' aid; selected but contract probably not yet signed. 
  • USA:  200 FIM-92 Stinger Portable SAM for Avenger SAM systems. 


The Russian deal was not in the SIPRI database since it was suspended prior to the end of 2012.  However: “As far as the signed contracts go that deal with the acquisition of weapons in Russia, they have not been cancelled. However, we have not started executing them yet.  When will the first supply commence?  As soon as the financial issue is resolved. I believe that the first shipments of weapons from Russia to Iraq will start before the summer, as the latest term.  What kind of equipment will it be? Military aircraft were discussed.  No, we are not talking about aircraft so far. It will be helicopters of a specific kind and missile defense batteries.”


There are only a few clear details of the Russian deal in the reporting:

  • Deal is for 28-40 Mi-28NE Attack Helicopters and 42-50 Pantsir S1 SAM systems.
  • Deal is for 4.2 billion dollars which is more than the worth of the highest numbers of systems reported.
  • 4 additional Mi-28NEs were added to replace the initial kickback corruption in the original deal. 
  • Now that the renewed deal is signed, deliveries are to start this summer.


The 27 March Khaima points to more diverse air and air defense weapons shopping and training:

  • Commander of the Air Defense Command meets with the representatives of French companies at the HQ of the ADC. They discussed the plans for building the Iraqi ADC and the fact finding trips by the technical committees of the ADC to observe the testing of new air defense systems in Europe. The French stated their willingness to train and equip the ADC with French weapons.
  • Commander of the Air Force meets with US, Chinese and Pakistani defense representatives.
  • US rep, General Martin: discussed training courses.
  • Pakistani rep, Mohammed Rashed: discussed training courses in Pakistan for Iraqi officers / pilots.
  • Chinese rep head of CATIC: The manufacturer of the JF17 fighter, k8 trainer and UAVs. Iraqi AF commander indicated that they are prepared to test and evaluate aircraft that CATIC offers to Iraq.


Iraqi Navy


Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has updated their arms register as of the end of 2012.   The below list is declared exports to Iraq with deliveries noted where made as of 31 December 2012 [all previously reported]:

  • USA:  9 Swiftships-35 Patrol craft (9 delivered). 
  • USA:  3 Swiftships-35 Patrol craft (3 delivered); option on 3 more. 
  • USA:  2 AMP-137 OPV (2 delivered). 


Iraqi Ministry of Interior


Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has updated their arms register as of the end of 2012.   The below list is declared exports to Iraq with deliveries noted where made as of 31 December 2012 [previously reported]:

  • USA:  80 ASV-150/M-1117 APC (60 delivered); including 8 command post versions; delivery 2011-2013.  [Federal Police]


Still fishing for ISF topics to be addressed. So far I'm looking at articles on ISOF, IqN/IqM, and ADC.

DJ Elliott (04/14/2013 01:56:08)


Navy and AF are always good topics. Big ticket items and they never get that much attention, IqN especially. I must ask though DJ, is Khaima magazine now your primary source for information?

Trophy_Wench (04/17/2013 11:28:16)


Effectively Khaima is. Without that IMoD weekly magazine, I would have shifted to quarterly updates due to lack of data. Most of my items come from Iraq or countries selling to Iraq. If I was dependent on western open source reporting - I would be updating a short article each year. Good for providing me time to rework/rewrite my SciFi novel/triology - not so good for keeping an up-to-date ISF OOB...

DJ Elliott (04/18/2013 07:34:06)


I find it hard to believe that only 3 topics concerning the ISF are of interest. No others?

DJ Elliott (04/20/2013 11:26:00)


I think you're covering things well given the limitations. I'm interested in anything you can come up with. But, as you've said, sources are drying up. Is there any open source information on Iraqi planning for possible conflicts or how external defense training is progressing?

James (04/22/2013 08:01:55)


While the pattern of force development points to the same general plans as were used in the Iran-Iraq War. 3-4 Infantry Divs on the line [FP/DBE] and a Mech Div in reserve per Corps. 2 Corps and a reserve Armor Div per Army. 1-2 Reserve heavy/motorized Corps in strategic reserve. KRG providing the northern Mountain Army [less armor]. But that type of planning detail is normally classified. //// External Defense training has been delayed due to the Syrian border, KRG, etc deployments. Only training at Bde levels and only half the IA Bdes trained. Training of FP for their secondary role of external defense [and DBE] has not started - still retraining/absorbing EP as basic paramilitary FP. //// Still filling out FA, ADA, Engrs, etc... See and

DJ Elliott (04/24/2013 10:00:04)


Thanks so much for your hard work! I can really tell how much effort you put on it. Since I'm new on this, I have some amateurish questions for you: 1. In you OOB map, Does the thin green line stand for Divisions' area of influence? 2. Is there any list with the specific location of all the Brigades' HQ? 3. Do you have any link for Khaima in English? Thanks a lot

Carr (04/29/2013 12:31:53)


1. Yes. However, that can change. 2. The BSTBs listed in the OOB are the Brigade HQs - Brigade Special Troops Battalion is the new fancy term for Brigade HQ Troops. 3. Khaima is only in Arabic - a friendly reader translates key items for me. It is published at the IMoD website.

DJ Elliott (04/29/2013 02:16:43)

DJ Elliott