Warplanes: Iraqi Air Force Gets Its Jets Back


January 4, 2008: The Iraqi Air Force has received five Beechcraft King Air 350ER reconnaissance aircraft. Iraqi newspapers are describing these as Iraq's first "jet aircraft" since 2003, but they are actually twin turboprop aircraft, weighing 7.5 tons each and capable to spending eight hours in the air per sortie. The 350ERs are equipped like a recon UAV, with over a ton of day/night cameras and a radar. Also carried are electronic monitoring equipment. Iraq will also be receiving a passenger version of the aircraft, which seats eleven in addition to the crew. Ultimately, Iraq wants to get 24 350ERs and 24 of the passenger version. The 350ER can be used to patrol land borders, or at sea.


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