Ukraine has supplied the first of the contracted six An-32 light transport aircraft to Iraq under a contract worth over $550 million for the supply of military hardware to the country.

The first An-32 aircraft arrived from Kyiv to Bagdad international airport on November 18, where it was officially handed over to the Iraqi Defense Ministry, Interfax-Ukraine learned at the state-run arms export and import company Ukrspecexport.

According to the press service, the second An-32 aircraft will be supplied to Iraq in early December, the remaining four planes will be transferred in 2012.

As reported earlier, a contract worth over $550 million for the supply of the Ukrainian military hardware to Iraq was concluded in 2009 by a state-run subsidiary of Ukrspecexport – the Progress specialized foreign trade firm.

The contract foresees the supply of over 400 pieces of military hardware, including BTR-4, six An-32 light transport aircraft, and aircraft repair services over three to three-and-a-half years.

Among the key Ukrainian contractors are Kharkiv-based Morozov design and engineering bureau, Kharkiv engine design bureau, Kharkiv-based Malyshev plant, and Kyiv-based Antonov enterprise.

The first batch of 26 BTR-4 armored personnel carriers, two maintenance vehicles, two BTR crew training simulators was delivered to the Iraqi contractor in April 2011.

Under the agreement reached by the sides, the deadline for the delivery of the first batch, which was originally scheduled for the end of 2010, was put off so the new armored personnel vehicles could be tested to make sure they meet military operational requirements.

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