Military Aviation

Iranian lawmaker says Russia will begin delivery of Su-35 fighter jets to Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force from March

A number of Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker fighter jets will be delivered to Iran from Russia in early Solar Hijri calendar year 1402, which starts from Mar. 21, 2023.

A number of Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker fighter jets will be delivered to Iran from Russia in early Solar Hijri calendar year 1402, which starts from Mar. 21, 2023 member of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Shahriar Heidari said speaking to Tasnim.

According to Alert 5, besides the Su-35s, the lawmaker noted that 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.

As already reported, the Iranian minister of Defense has confirmed in September that Iran will receive the original order of 24 Su-35SE Flanker-E fighter jets for the Egyptian Air Force (EAF). The aircraft will be diverted to the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF).

Some of the combat aircraft are anticipated to be housed at Tactical Air Base (TAB) 8 of the IRIAF, which is located in the Iranian city of Isfahan in the country’s center and that is also home to Iran’s F-14 Tomcat fighters.

The EAF 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 purchases them. Thus, if the Su-35s are going to be delivered to Iran, the jets could come from the existing airframes intended for Egypt.

Russia is apparently already training Iranian Su-35SE pilots but the IRIAF needs to be able to train their own pilots for future crews. For this reason, a follow-on order for advanced training aircraft could be announced on short notice.

Iran hasn’t acquired any new fighter aircraft in recent years, excluding a few Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters it bought in the 1990s.

The Su-35 is a version of the Su-27 fighter 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 family of airplanes.

The aircraft 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). According to United Aircraft Corporation, the high combat effectiveness of the Su-35 airplane is achieved through its:

  • Ability to operate independently, in a group of airplanes or as part of a battle group controlled from an aerial, ground-based or ship-based command center;
  • Single integrated information-management system providing intellectual support to the pilot, which maintains communication and coordination between the crew and avionics equipment;
  • Covert attacks on radio-emitting aerial targets at mid- and long-range;
  • Attacks on ground and sea-surface targets with guided high-precision missiles without entering air defense zones;
  • High target-tracking stability;
  • Simultaneous air-to-air and air-to surface operations.

Photo credit: Unknown

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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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  • It remains to be seen how long they will remain relevant after the loss of (at least) a couple of them in the Ukraine and the subsequent recovery of their remains by the Ukrainians and their American allies. We know that every piece of intelligence that the US obtains sooner or later finds its way to Israel.

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