BAGHDAD - The Iraqi Army Aviation Command received three Bell T-407 training helicopters at the directorate's headquarters at Camp Taji Dec. 11.

These helicopters will be used to train Iraqi Army pilots with the 21st IqAAC Squadron to fly the Iraqi Armed 407, or IA-407, which is an Armed Scout Helicopter that is essentially a modified Bell 407 with forward-firing ground attack capabilities, according to United States Forces-Iraq officials with the Iraq Security and Assistance Mission.

Additionally the IA-407 is equipped with Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and data-link capabilities; and armed with .50 caliber machinegun and 2.75-inch rockets. A total of 27 IA-407s are scheduled for delivery to the 21st Squadron in late 2011 and early 2012.

The Iraqi Army already has two newly-qualified instructor pilots, who along with their USF-I advisor counterparts, will soon begin the process of developing a cadre of instructor pilots to establish a self-sustaining program to support Iraq's Armed Scout Helicopter program.

These three training helicopters made the trip from Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft. They are currently undergoing reassembly and flight testing prior to an official delivery ceremony in Taji that is scheduled for Dec. 15.

Page last updated Mon December 13th, 2010 at 08:25