Iraq is in talks with the U.S. government to buy 200 Bradley Fighting Vehicles from BAE systems, to be finalized in next 15 months.
A BAE official was quoted by Defense News saying that the potential deal is to take place in 2014; just a year ahead of another expected deal on buying Bradleys with Saudi Arabia is reached.
The Iraq contract would provide recently upgraded M2A2 ODS (Operation Desert Storm) variants to the Baghdad government, the same vehicles that the US Army National Guard uses.
If the deals eventually go through, BAE system will follow on about $4.3 billion worth of contracts the Iraqi government has requested in recent weeks from the U.S. government for 50 Stryker infantry carriers, helicopters and air defense systems.
There is also a pending $750 million deal to do maintenance work on Iraqi M113s, Humvees, M88s and other ground vehicles, which an official said that BAE will likely bid on as part of a team with industry partners.
The Bradley industrial base is something that BAE Systems is extremely concerned about. The company has reached deals with the US Army to keep the line at York, Pa., humming through 2014, but that the work will run out about halfway through 2015. “We mitigated the major risks in ’14,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of vehicle systems for the company, but “we still can’t support the entire supply base. There will be layoffs.”
The work to convert 59 Bradley cavalry scout vehicles to the newer M2A3 configuration would end about halfway through 2015, which would be the end of the line until a larger reset program begins in 2018, the company said.