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Iraqi Air Power Reborn

Iraqi Air Power Reborn Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review May 2016 Title Iraqi Air Power Reborn
Author Arnaud Delalande Publisher Harpia Publishing, LLC
Published 2016 ISBN 978-0-9854554-7-7
Format 77 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $29.95


Gone are the MiG-21s. Ditto for Su-22s. And those Tu-22s? History.

From equipment and operations to tactics and training, the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) and Iraqi Army Aviation (IAA) changed radically since Operation Iraqi Freedom – America’s 2003 invasion of the country.

Now Harpia tells the timely tale in Iraqi Air Power Reborn: The Iraqi air arms since 2004.

Author Arnaud Delelande divides his study into five chapters spanning 77 lavishly illustrated pages.

For decades, Iraq remained a nodal point of Middle East conflict. And contents commence with a succinct summary of Iraqi airpower since 1931. Coverage quickly segues to separate chapters on current IQAF and IAA aircraft.

Delelande dutifully details all known assets. Fighter. Attack. Reconnaissance. Transport. Training. Even UAVs. Both fixed and rotary wing. Individual sections recap acquisitions, capabilities and service. And charts summarize specific types, serials, construction numbers and delivery dates – with, where appropriate, explanatory “remarks”.

Two pages briefly survey possible “Future” Iraqi aircraft. And a fifth “At War” chapter covers current assets – as well as supporting American, British and Iranian aircraft – in combat. Text traverses operational use of, for instance, IQAF F-16s, Mi-35s and, surprisingly, Hellfire-armed Cessna AC-208 Combat Caravans.

Dozens of color photos – with a handful of B&W shots – season Harpia’s superb study. A handy abbreviations list and selected bibliography also augment the account. And two appendices – one with AOBs and unit heraldry, the other on IQAF and IAA aircraft attrition – conclude coverage.

Nitpicks? Author Delelande puts excessive faith in Iraq victory claims. In 1980, MiG-23s and Su-20s were hardly considered “outdated”. Some images are distressingly small. And aside from three small back-cover profiles, modelers will certainly miss Tom Cooper’s excellent artwork.

None of these, however, detracts from the overall excellence of this vital volume. Arnaud Delelande’s timely tome remains required reading for anyone following Mid-East flashpoints. I loved it.

Roundly recommended!

With thanks to Harpia Publishing for the review copy.