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.
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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