The Iraqi Army Aviation Command has received its first three Bell-407 armed training combat helicopters from the US Government.

The Bell-407 armed helicopters have been designed to fire Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, and are also equipped with intelligence and data-link capabilities.

The aircraft will be used to train Iraqi Army pilots to fly the Bell-407, which is scheduled for delivery over the next 18 months.

The Iraqi Army has prepared two instructor pilots to develop a cadre that would operate and maintain the helicopter fleet.

Iraq has also ordered another 27 armed Bell-407s for the Army’s 21st Squadron, with deliveries scheduled for 2011 and 2012, according to the World Tribune.