Friday, January 28, 2011

France Offers To Sell Iraq Mirage Fighter Jets

BAGHDAD - France has proposed to sell 18 Mirage fighters to Iraq, which is already negotiating a deal for U.S. F-16s to protect its skies after American forces pull out at the end of this year, the French ambassador said.

"France has proposed to sell 18 Mirage F1 retrofitted aircraft that can be delivered from late 2011 and immediately operational because many Iraqi pilots were trained in the past on this type of plane," Boris Boillon told Agence France-Presse on Jan. 27.
Baghdad has been negotiating to buy 18 U.S.-made F-16s, and the cabinet on Jan. 26 authorized Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to negotiate the terms of the first payment on the contract, a statement said.He said France was offering the multi-role planes for $1 billion (733 million euros).
Boillon said that, because of the price tag, the Mirage offer would not affect the F-16 deal.
"This [Mirage] sale is in the context of a proposal on a comprehensive military air program that France has submitted to this country," Boillon said.


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