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Iraq reportedly seeking HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missiles
March 29, 2017
The Chinese HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM), which was the original winner of the T-LORAMIDS program.

Iraq reportedly seeking HQ-9 long-range surface-to-air missiles

The Iraqi news outlet Mawazin reports that Iraq is in the process of finalizing a $2.5 billion U.S. purchase of HQ-9/FD-2000 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC). As per Mawazin, the purchase will be financed using credit from China, which will require Baghdad to pay in installments of $833 million U.S.

Notes & Comments:

China is emerging as one of Iraq’s leading suppliers, especially in armaments that are not readily available to non-NATO or distantly allied countries in the West. These include armed unmanned aerial vehicles such as the CH-4, which Iraq acquired in October 2015, and long-range SAM technology, among other systems.

Russia leads the industry in terms of providing long-range SAM solutions, via the S-300, to the developing world. China has been seeking to make inroads in this market using HQ-9 (designated FD-2000 for the export market), which is generally thought to have been developed from the S-300PMU.

The procurement of the HQ-9 would mark one of Iraq’s first, if not the first, acquisition with external state-level threats in mind. Although Iraq has spent the previous decade rebuilding its armed forces, many of its marquee systems have been tailored for internal counterinsurgency operations. A significant amount of expenditure in this regard had gone to the U.S., most notably in the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block-52+.

It will be worth seeing if Iraq further invests in its conventional defence capabilities, especially in terms of offensive assets such as medium (or heavy)-weight combat aircraft or short-range ballistic missiles, which are available for sale in Russia and China.

  • Andrei Romanov

    If this report is true then,
    Good decision by Iraq.
    Iraq will be second country operate HQ-9 after Turkmenistan.
    Iraqis are rapidly rebuilding their army , hope Iraq will rise again.

    • Matthys Jacobs

      I agree it’s a good platform however what major aerial threat does Iraq currently face?

      Should it not focus on it’s ground based and air to ground capabilities first?

      Also, given their current issues within various regions of Iraq i.e. The central iraqi government does not control Iraqi Kurdistan, some non state actors control entire regions.

      A system like this will deter aggressors within the region from launching unilateral strikes within Iraq however the only force capable of that would be the US which has good relations with Iraq so it’s a good purchase but is it a pressing need at the moment?

      • Retaliation

        Remember when turkey was threatening to invade Iraq ? …. they keep bombing the northern part of Iraq and Iraq has no say in that.
        Either way, for Iraq to gain respect and limit regional interference it need to be able to defend it self. This way Iraq will stabilize in long term.

        • Matthys Jacobs

          I suppose because of the Kurds using the North of Iraq to attack turkey.

          Added to that, Iraq has no capacity to control the Kurdish areas.

    • nob hamid gul

      The report is likely to be True. Every news are verified before posted.
      News on Quwa can be trusted.

  • Matthys Jacobs

    Strange though because Turkey seems to be moving away from the US.

    I imagine the incoming US administration will push Turkey closer towards Russia.

  • Matthys Jacobs

    I suppose with the new dynamics in power and with Turkey starting to have a cooling of relations with the US and Saudi we might see some closer relations with Russia.

    Also – given that Turkey’s brand of their religion is at odds with Saudi and Egypt I gather there might even be some sort of interaction with Iran.

    • Retaliation

      Turkey is a Sunni Muslim country, they are at odds with the Shia Iran.
      I’m not sure what subgroup of Sunni Islam is practiced in turkey, but the saudi and Egypts subgroup is at odds and the Egyptians seem to be leaning towards Iran nowadays. It’s clear if you read about the oil deal to supply Egypt from Saudi Arabia that suddenly stopped and the new deal where Iraq is supplying Egypt now.

      • Andrei Romanov

        Thats what is happening in syria Turkish backed Rebels are fighting “Pro Iranian Assad Regime and Hezbollah.”
        This war is between Iran and Turkey.

      • Matthys Jacobs

        Quite interesting.

  • Dodo

    Why Iraq needs HQ-9 now? giving ISIS has no fighter jets? Is this because of Turkey?

    Turkish military entered Iraq many times to attack Kurds. Iraq is not happy Turkey entering its territory without its permission. With HQ-9, next time, Turkish F-16 enter Iraq without permission, Iraq can shoot it down.

    Turkey had a long negotiation with China on purchasing, even Turkish president visited China and talked about this. At the end, Turkey cancelled the deal which made China very very angry. The whole process was not just normal business negotiations but Turkish leaders kept telling China this was a done deal but end up nothing. Now, will Turkey do the same to Russia on S-400?

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