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Iraqi F-16s to be equipped with the AN/ALQ-211 electronic warfare system

April 25, 2024 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Iraqi Air Force is to equip all 34 of its F-16C/D Block 52Ms with the AN/ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare suite (AIDEWS).

IqAF F-16C block 52 #1605 is parked under a sun shade at Tucson IAP. [Photo by Xuxinyi1000]

The Iraqi Air Force’s (IQAF) fleet of fighters as a whole consists of 24 single-seat F-16Cs and 10 two-seat F-16Ds, deliveries of which began in 2014. They are located at Ali Flaih Air Base, which is formerly known as Balad Air Base.

The AIDEWS comes in both an AN/ALQ-211(V)4 integrated and an AN/ALQ-211(V)9 podded configuration. The block 52 and above aircraft of operators such as the IqAF have the internal space needed for integration while older blocks do not and therefore, require the podded system.

The U.S. manufacturer L3Harris states that the AIDEWS is a comprehensive electronic defense device that allows it to protect an aircraft by autonomously disrupting, denying, and degrading a wide spectrum of enemy threats; it also provides the pilot with greater situational awareness when being targeted by air defense systems using laser guidance.

A detailed analysis of the L3Harris system provides further information about its operation. By using radar warning receivers, it quickly detects when the aircraft is being targeted by enemy radar searches, information with which electronic countermeasure systems are activated to interrupt the signal. In the case of laser-guided or heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles, the AIDEWS system employs infrared countermeasures to keep the fighter safe.

The efficiency of the AN/ALQ-211 system has already been tested by various air forces around the world, including those of the United States, Chile, Poland, and Turkey, among others. As for aircraft equipped with AIDEWS, examples include the CV-22 Osprey special operations aircraft, F-15 and F-16 fighters in various variants, the F-35 Lightning II, A-10 attack aircraft, and NH-90 helicopters. It is also worth noting that the use of the AN/ALQ-211 (V)9 is adaptable for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Additional images:

IqAF F-16C block 52 is parked on a sunny tarmac guarded by an Iraqi military. [IqAF photo]

IqAF F-16C block 52 #1615 destined for the 9th FS is taxiing to the runway at Tucson IAP on December 7th, 2016. [ photo by Eric Tammer]

IqAF F-16C block 52 #1635 is Iraq's second to last Viper seen on a test flight at NAS Fort Worth on September 21st, 2017. [Photo by Keith Snyder]