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Iraqi Air Force

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The Iraqi Air Force (IQAF or IAF; Arabic: القوة الجوية العراقية, Al Quwwa al Jawwiya al Iraqiya) is the aerial warfare service branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces, responsible for the policing of international borders and surveillance of national assets. The IQAF also acts as a support force for the Iraqi Navy and the Iraqi Army and it allows Iraq to rapidly deploy its developing Army.

The Iraqi Air Force was founded in 1931, during British control of Iraq after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WW1, with only a few pilots. Aside from a brief period during the Second World War, the Iraqi Air Force operated mostly British aircraft until the 14 July Revolution in 1958, when the new Iraqi government began increased diplomatic relationships with the Soviet Union. The air force used both Soviet and British aircraft throughout the 1950s and 1960s. When Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979, the air force grew very quickly when Iraq ordered more Soviet and French aircraft. Its peak came after the long and bloody Iran–Iraq War, which ended in 1988, when it consisted of 1024 aircraft, becoming the largest air force in the region. Its downfall came during the Gulf War (1990–91) and continued while coalition forces enforced no-fly zones.

Aircraft Inventory[edit]


  • Dassault Mirage F1EQ x 24 (Fighter-Bomber)
  • Mikoyan MiG-29 x 44 (Multirole Fighter)

Attack Aircraft[edit]

  • Sukhoi Su-24 x 30 (Strike Aircraft)
  • Sukhoi Su-25 x 42 (CAS Aircraft)

Transport Aircraft[edit]

  • Antonov An-26 x 5 (Transport Aircraft)
  • Antonov An-32 x 6 (Transport Aircraft)
  • Dassault Falcon 20 x 2 (VIP Transport)
  • Dassault Falcon 50 x 4 (VIP Transport)
  • Ilyushin Il-76 x 16 (Strategic Transport)
  • Lockheed JetStar x 2 (Transport Aircraft)


  • Aérospatiale SA342 Gazelle x 6 (Scout Helicopters)
  • Mil Mi-28NE x 18 (Attack Helicopter)
  • Mil Mi-35 x 28 (Attack Helicopter)

Trainer Aircraft[edit]

  • Aero L-159 Alca x 14 (Advanced Trainer)
  • Dassault Mirage F1BQ x 18 (Basic Trainer)
  • Kawasaki/MBB BK-117 x 12 (Trainer Helicopter)
  • Utva Lasta 95 x 20 (Basic Trainer)
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