Military Aviation

Iran wants to buy the Su-35 fighter from Russia. The IRIAF is no longer looking at the Su-30.

The Su-35 fighters for Iran if approved, could come from the existing airframes intended for Egypt.

Head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF), Brig. Gen. Hamid Vahedi, says his service is interested in acquiring the Sukhoi Su-35 fighter from Russia, Alert 5 first noted.

Speaking to Borna news agency on Sep. 4, 2022 he said Iran is no longer looking at the Su-30. Approval is still required from Iran’s Army Command and the Armed Forces General Staff Command.

He said: “This issue is on the agenda and we hope to be able to get these 4++ generation fighters in the future.”

The Sukhoi Su-35 is a version of the Su-27 fighter jet that has been deeply modernized to achieve a significant increase in its combat effectiveness against aerial, ground, and sea-surface targets. The design of the Su-35 incorporates the most successful engineering concepts that previously tested well on the Su-27/Su-30 aircraft family.

According to United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), the Su-35 “combines the qualities of a modern fighter (super-maneuverability, superior active and passive acquisition aids, high supersonic speed and long range, capability of managing battle group actions, etc.) and a good tactical airplane (wide range of weapons that can be carried, modern multi-channel electronic warfare system, reduced radar signature and high combat survivability).”

The Su-35 is capable of flying at Mach 2.2 (1,500 mph), carries a payload of weapons up to 8,000kg, and has a range of around 1,000 miles.

Russia claims the aircraft is far superior to Western fighters such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet, French Rafale and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

It was reported back in 2020 that Egypt and Algeria are scheduled to take delivery of Su-35s.

As we have already explained the Egyptian Air Force had to become the first customer for the Su-35 in the Middle East area, following the signing of a contract in 2018 (not confirmed until May 2020), comprising the delivery of 24/26 aircraft for approximately USD 3 billion. But there are several indications that Egypt is never going to get any Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets. As The Aviation Geek Club contributor and Helion & Company publisher’s editor Tom Cooper explained, by side the US pressure – which, certainly enough, was crucial (why should Washington continue providing US$ 3 billion aid to Cairo (incl. about US1.7 billion military aid), if the latter goes buying Russian combat aircraft) – but, word is the Egyptians tested an Irbis-E radar (from the Su-35) against Rafale‘s ECM-system, and the latter easily overpowered the former.

The Su-35s produced for the Egyptian Air Force are currently parked in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and they are going to remain there for a while longer unless another nation purchase them. Thus if the Su-35 deal for Iran is approved, the jets could come from the existing airframes intended for Egypt.

Photo credit: Russian Ministry of Defence

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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