Iran recently confirmed negotiations are completed for the delivery of Sukhoi Su-35 jets, Mil Mi-28 gunships, and Yak-130 trainers from Russia. The pending transfers will provide a boost to Iranian air power as military cooperation with Moscow continues deepening.
BoostingIran’s Aging Air Fleet
Deputy Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Mahdi Farahi stated the advanced Russian aircraft will join Iranian combat units once delivered, reinforcing capabilities.
The induction comes as Iran struggles to maintain its largely aging air force fleet from past US purchases supplemented by a few Russian MiG-29s.
Sophisticated Aerial Platforms
In service with Russia’s air force, the multirole Su-35 provides supermaneuverability via thrust vectoring engines. Meanwhile the heavily armed Mi-28 is regarded as one of the world’s best attack helicopters.
The Yak-130 subsonic jet facilitates affordable training, but also packs an internal gun and can carry guided weapons for light strike roles if required.
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Streamlining Aircrew Training
The Iranian air force took delivery of initial Yak-130 aircraft in September. The jets will enable its pilots to switch to new threats posed by stealthy 5th generation adversaries.
By mirroring avionics and capabilities of Russian latest-generation fighters, the Yak-130 eases transitioning aircrews to Su-35-level platforms.
Tightened Russia-Iran Military Ties
The aviation deals follow extensive economic and energy cooperation pacts between Iran and Russia as they aim to overcome US sanctions limiting partnerships.
Joint military initiatives and arms transfers also continue growing, whether missile defense collaboration or Russia providing Iranian-operated drones to its forces in Ukraine per reports.
Domestically, acquiring Russian systems allows Iran’s armed forces to sidestep reliance on Western equipment and sustain functions as decades-old American-made gear retires from service.
Russian platforms bridge capability gaps while Iran expands domestic R&D and production like its new Kosar fighter and Shahed attack drones.
The planned sale of Su-35 jets, Mi-28 gunships and Yak-130 trainers will mark a considerable boost in Iranian air power and continued Russia-Iran defense alignment.