Iraqi Mi-17, photo: US Army
Iraqi Mi-17, photo: US Army

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Iraq to find spare parts for its Mi-17s. Therefore this country wants to replace these helicopters with the products of an American company, The War Zone reports. 

The shortage of spare parts for the Mi-17 is directly related to the war in Ukraine – the Russian Federation is forced to leave more components to support its own aviation and has fewer and fewer “free” spare parts for sale.

Mi-17 production in the Russian Federation, the photo is illustrative
Mi-17 production in the Russian Federation, the photo is illustrative

After all, if we talk about the Russian Federation and its Mi-17, it is generally worth mentioning the recent news that China is generally helping the occupiers with the production of this and other weapons, which, in particular, shipped navigation equipment to the Russian company “Rosoboronexport” in August of last year to these helicopters.

As for Iraq, the country currently plans to purchase four Bell 412EPX helicopters and 16 Bell 412M helicopters to replace its fleet of Russian Mi-17s.

As for the Bell 412EPX, it is one of the last variants of this series, which was developed with the Japanese Subaru to participate in the UH-X tender – the first sample, the UH-2, was received by the Japanese last summer. 

This helicopter received improved avionics, as well as a modern glass cockpit. The developer calls the Bell 412M helicopter “a universal solution for amphibious assault operations.” According to the Bell website, this helicopter is ready to install the Huey Ordnance Stores system from CFD International.

Bell 407M, photo: Bell
Bell 407M, photo: Bell

It is also known that Iraq plans to purchase another 15 new Bell 407M light attack helicopters, including missile and artillery weapons, etc., as well as 15 new Bell 505 training helicopters.

As for other Soviet helicopters in Iraq (Mi-35M and Mi-28NE and Mi-28UB), it is not currently indicated whether the country has any problems with spare parts, etc., or whether it plans to replace them with new models at all. Still, the US Office for security cooperation in Iraq reported that it is currently working with the country’s defense ministry to equip Iraq’s helicopter fleet with Western models.