Iraq intends to completely replace American F-16s with MiG-29s and newest MiG-35s

Iraq will become the first foreign buyer of Russian MiG-35 fighters.

34 American F-16 fighters in service with the Iraqi Air Force will be replaced by Russian combat aircraft. At the moment, it is known that the replacement of the Iraqi Air Force fleet provides for both the acquisition of Russian MiG-29 fighters, as previously reported by Avia.pro, and the acquisition of the latest Russian MiG-35 fighters, which will allow Iraq to become the first country in the world. which will begin the operation of these combat vehicles.

According to foreign media outlets, Iraq is unlikely to be able to acquire a large number of MiG-35 fighters, in connection with which, most likely, Baghdad will opt for a large number of MiG-29 fighters, but at the same time will strengthen them with several MiG-35 fighters.

“The Iraqi Defense Ministry's military inspector, Imad al-Zuhairi, said in August 2020 that the country needs the Su-57, Russia's newest and most efficient fighter. However, the high cost of the Su-57 and the complexity of maintaining and operating the aircraft would probably make it overly difficult in operation, given the current state of the Iraqi Air Force. However, to replace the F-16, Iraq could purchase a lower service class fighter that would be easier to maintain with Russian support. Operating experience with such a fighter - most likely the MiG-29 or MiG-35 - could, in turn, help the Iraqi military acquire the skills and experience needed to fly higher-end fighters such as the Su-57 or Su-30SM2. " , - reports "The Military Watch".

Iraq is really interested in acquiring Russian military aircraft, as it is already quite familiar with their capabilities and aware of their reliability, and although it has not yet reached the conclusion of a real deal with Russia, experts believe that a large batch of Russian fighters will go to Iraq already over the next few years.