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Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force to Receive Russian Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter Jets

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Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force to Receive Russian Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter Jets

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Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E Air Superiority Fighter Jets
Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker-E Air Superiority Fighter Jets

Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) expects to take delivery of a number of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia early next Iranian year, which starts in March. Media reports suggested earlier that Iran will receive 24 of the fourth-generation twin-engine, super-maneuverable fighter jets that are primarily used for air superiority missions. Member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Shahriar Heidari said the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets that Iran has ordered from Russia are going to arrive in early 1402 (begins on March 21). Iran has also ordered a series of other military equipment from Russia, including air defense systems, missile systems and helicopters, most of which will be received soon.

Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) Air Superiority Fighter Jet
Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) Air Superiority Fighter Jet

Some of the combat aircraft are anticipated to be housed at Tactical Air Base (TAB) 8 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, which is located in the Iranian city of Isfahan in the country’s center. Iran hasn’t acquired any new fighter aircraft in recent years, excluding a few Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters it bought in the 1990s. IRIAF will soon receive 24 of Su-35 twin-engine, super-maneuverable fighter jets that are primarily used for air superiority missions. The fighter fleet of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) mostly consists of US-made jets from the 1960s and 70s. Its mainstays are the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, the Northrop F-5 Tiger and the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, all of them maintained for decades without manufacturer support.

Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) Air Superiority Fighter Jet
Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) Air Superiority Fighter Jet

Following the Russian purchase of Iranian suicide drones during the invasion in Ukraine, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is reportedly considering the procuremeent of the Sukhoi Su-35 in exchange for further delivery of ammunition, drones and ballistic missiles to the Russian Armed Forces. A transfer of Iranian Shahed kamikaze drones to Russia has been widely reported, as Russia’s own stockpile of precision weapons started running out in the summer of 2022. It was also reported that training of Iranian pilots has begun in spring 2022 and that the aircraft may be delivered in 2023. The deal may include 24 Su-35 fighter jets originally built for Egypt, that have not been handed over so far. The order was dropped after the aircraft were already built.

Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) Air Superiority Fighter Jet
Sukhoi Su-35 (Flanker-E) Air Superiority Fighter Jet

The Sukhoi Su-35 (NATO reporting name: Flanker-E) is the designation for two improved derivatives of the Su-27 air-defence fighter. They are single-seat, twin-engine, supermaneuverable aircraft, designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and built by Sukhoi.The multi-role Su-35 can deploy air-to-air missiles of up to 300-kilometre (190 mi) range, and can carry the heavy Oniks anti-ship cruise missile, as well as the multitude of air-to-ground weaponry. The Su-35 employs the powerful N035 Irbis-E (“Snow Leopard”) passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar. The Su-35’s thrust-vectoring system and integrated flight- and propulsion-control systems allow the aircraft to attain “supermaneuverability”, enabling it to perform post-stall manoeuvres at low speeds.

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