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Once bitten but not twice shy: Iraq revisits idea of buying Italian ships

2nd February 2022 - 11:25 GMT | by Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo

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Iraq in 2017 finally received two corvettes ordered from Fincantieri in 1980. (Photo: IISS/Twitter)

There are indications that Iraq may order more surface naval vessels from Italian shipbuilders, despite the tortuous history of procurement between the two countries.

On 6 January 2022, the Commander of the Iraqi Naval Forces, Maj Gen Ahmed Jasim Maarij, announced to Iraqi TV station Al Iraqiya that the navy would acquire new equipment later in the year. 

A spokesman for the Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Maj Gen Yahya Rasoul, went further in the same broadcast by specifying that Italian ships with missile capabilities would be bought.

As it is highly unlikely that Iraq can afford to buy new-build vessels from Italy, second-hand ships are a more realistic possibility. 

In particular, three Maestrale-class frigates are available for acquisition. Eight ships in this class entered

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