Iraq had frozen a $4.2 billion deal to buy 18 fighter jets earlier this year because of instability related to the turmoil in the region but is now considering an even larger purchase, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing US and Iraqi officials.
The newspaper said the renewed interest was linked to higher-than-expected Iraqi oil revenues and concerns on both sides ahead of the withdrawal of the remaining 46,000 US troops from the country by the end of the year.
Any potential deal would be worth billions of dollars and take years to implement, as it would require the manufacturing of the planes and the training of Iraqi pilots.
The Journal said Iraq has also requested ground-based air defense systems, including ground-to-air missiles and large guns.
It said Oman was also looking to purchase 18 F-16s at an estimated cost of $3.5 billion.
Source: Wall Street Journal; Al Arabiya