A potential $4.8-billion plan that would see the United States provide Iraq with latest version of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter has fallen through, according to a report from Defense News.

The deal, which included 24 choppers, as well as a training program, radars, night-vision equipment, 480 Hellfire missiles, electronic warfare equipment, 30-millimeter canons and a variety of ammunition is being blamed on Iraq's failure to sign an offer made by the US military.

"I can imagine that Iraq believes they now have a decent and growing fleet of armored attack helos and there is no need to rush a deal for helos that are very expensive and arrive slowly," Michael Knights, an analyst specializing in the Iraqi military for The Washington Institute, told DN.

That last bit, about the choppers being slow to arrive, has been a seemingly recurring theme in US arms deals to war-torn Iraq. According to Defense News, the Iraqi ambassador to Washington made quite a stink in July over delayed arms deliveries, including 36 F-16 fighters.

Ambassador Lukman Faily called the slow deliveries of both the F-16s and choppers "a chapter we could have prevented. It was stuck in Congress, and it was stuck in the White House, and that delay has had an adverse impact on us. Even if we pay the bills now the pilots are not in place," according to DN.

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