Iranian deal for Russian fighter jets finalized: Tasnim
Iran has completed the necessary arrangements for the delivery of Russian-manufactured Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets, Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters, and Yak-130 jet trainers, according to a statement by Iran’s deputy defense minister. Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Mahdi Farahi, speaking to Tasnim news agency, confirmed that plans have been solidified for these advanced military aircraft to become part of the Iranian Armed Forces’ combat units. He assured that the processes for acquiring and integrating these three sophisticated aircraft into Iran’s military capabilities are currently in progress.
General Farahi highlighted Iran’s leading position in the region in terms of the quantity of military helicopters, emphasizing that the country has enhanced their capabilities through various projects. Notably, Iran’s air force possesses only a limited number of strike aircraft, consisting of both Russian jets and aging U.S. models obtained prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Despite reports of these arrangements, the Tasnim did not include any official confirmation from the Russian side regarding the deal. It’s worth noting that in 2018, Iran announced the commencement of local production for the Kowsar fighter, intended for its air force. However, military experts have raised concerns, suggesting that the jet closely resembles the F-5, originally produced in the United States during the 1960s.
Additionally, Iran has not procured new fighter aircraft in recent years, except for a few Russian MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters acquired in the 1990s. The strengthening military ties between Iran and Russia have resulted in significant agreements to enhance economic, trade, energy, and military cooperation.
In a notable development, the Iranian Air Force had previously received its first Russian-made Yak-130 jet trainers in September. Developed by Russia’s Yakovlev and Aermacchi, the Yak-130 serves as a subsonic two-seat jet trainer and light combat aircraft, enabling Iranian military pilots to undergo training for operating advanced fighter jets, including the Sukhoi Su-57.