A proposed foreign military sale to Iraq for air traffic control and landing systems highlights the imminent possibility of a fully operational Iraqi Air Force in the next few years, according to an industry expert.

On Feb. 4, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale to Iraq for Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $700 million.

Matthew Hedges, military analyst for the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said the DSCA notification should be seen in conjunction with other recent messages that not only point to Baghdad’s pending acquisitions but also show that the US will be a key partner in this process.