U.S. government approvals for U.S. weapon sales to Iraq have nearly tripled this year to almost $15 billion, promising much-needed work for U.S. weapons factories if the proposed deals can overcome congressional concerns.

The slew of deals includes $3 billion in possible sales announced last week that still need to be approved by Congress and would boost sluggish U.S. demand for General Dynamics Corp. ’s M1A1 Abrams tanks as well as Humvee armored cars produced by closely held AM General LLC.

The intensifying battle between Iraq’s depleted armed forces and Islamic State militants also has spurred demand for big-ticket equipment, including fighter jets, attack helicopters and laser-guided missiles. […]