The Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve’s (CJTF-OIR) latest quarterly report for Jan. 1-March 31 this year said that the Iraqi Air Force and Iraqi Army Aviation Command conducted 31 strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria–one more than last quarter.
Of the 31, the Iraqi Air Force flew 23 using Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-16s, Northrop Grumman [NOC] AC-208 Eliminator Armed Caravan planes, and the Iraqi Army Aviation Command used Bell [TXT] 407, Airbus EC-635 Eurocopter, and Russian Mi-17, and Mi-35 helicopters for the remaining eight airstrikes, the report said.
The AC-208s fired Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, while the F-16s fired Lockheed Martin and Raytheon [RTX] 2,000-pound GBU-10s and 500-pound GBU-12s. The targets were ISIS hideouts, personnel, and vehicles.
“In previous quarters, Iraqi Air Force aircraft employed unguided munitions on multiple strike sorties,” per the report. “CJTF-OIR reported that this was not the case during this quarter, with the exception of Iraqi Army helicopters firing unguided rockets. CJTF-OIR said that Coalition advisors proposed the use of unguided munitions on deliberate, or pre-planned, targets, but all Iraqi Air Force targets were dynamically targeted and required better accuracy than unguided munitions could provide. In particular, CJTF-OIR noted that the tactically correct use of unguided bombs for planned strikes on stationary targets allows for Iraqi L-159 aircraft to be used. Currently, the L-159s cannot employ guided bombs as they are awaiting targeting pods.”
The report said that Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine could affect the availability of the Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters.
“CJTF-OIR noted that while their operational status remained largely unchanged, the Russian-built helicopters operated by the Iraqi Army Aviation Command are serviced with depot level maintenance and parts supplied through Ukraine,” per the report. “CJTF-OIR said that until the war in Ukraine is resolved, those helicopters will remain unsupported at that level and can expect reduced operational status commensurate with the duration of the Ukrainian conflict.”