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Status of Iranian Airforce

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posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 05:06 PM
Let me preface this question by stateing that i am new to ATS and have spent about 20 minutes or so looking through some threads in search of answers about the Status of the Iranian Airforce and especially its F-14's and any newer sukhoi's or migs it may have aquired lately. that said does anyone know the current status of the Iranian F-14's or their Air force in general?

posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 05:12 PM
Iran has an airforce????????????????????????????????

posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 06:09 PM
AD5673 thats not much of a helpful answer.

Iranian Airforce

It is problably not the most informative but it has the Iranian F-86, F-4, F-5, F-14, and F-16.

I will try find some on the Iranian Migs and Su.


posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 06:22 PM
I found a site that might be og real help to you about the Russia aircrafts in Iran.

On the site below are included alot of Middle Eastern and Africian countries that bought aircrafts from Russia. You can find Iran and see what they got from Russia and from Iraq in the Desert Storm Operation.



posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 06:30 PM
lol Russian but i didnt know really. Oh Russian your Russian. Well i speak it

posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 06:33 PM
One thing StormShadowTRU.

Anything that has air before it(airforce, aircraft,etc.) goes into the aircraft forum.

Or so I think


posted on Jun, 3 2004 @ 09:16 PM
Ok, I have a question. I'm not trying to be sarcastic, but is the Iranian airforce really any use? I know they have some nice planes and what not but they seem to lack severly in the "skills" department. Sure they would be a threat to countries with little or no air force but would they be any good against a better matched country such as Israel? Seems to me Isreal would decimate iran.

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 01:18 PM
While service of the F-14 in the US Navy is well-known and well-documented, by the classic film Top Gun, at the very least, its operations with the Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) and Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) have largely remained a mystery. Under the pro-western Shah of Iran, the IIAF had benefitted greatly by interaction with the West, and Iran was able to purchase large amounts of sophisticated US military equipment to protect against the Soviet threat. By the early 1970s, the bulk of the IIAF was made up of Northrop F-5A and E, McDonnell Douglas F-4D and E Phantom II, and Lockheed P-3F Orion aircraft. However, none of these were able to ward off Soviet MiG-25 reconnaissance fighters that were making frequent flights over Iranian terrirory. This fact was made clear to US President Richard Nixon during his visit to Iran in May 1972 during which the Shah requested a means of intercepting the high-speed Soviet aircraft.

Having received permission from the US government, Iran decided to purchase the F-14 Tomcat over a competing F-15 Eagle offer. An intial order for 30 F-14s was signed in January 1974, and this number was later increased to 80. The first of these aircraft arrived in Iran in January 1976, differing only from their American counterparts in the removal of certain classified avionics systems. These aircraft were also fitted with the improved TF30-414 engine, standard on later production models. Twelve aircraft were delivered by May 1977, and one of these was used to shoot down a BQM-34E target drone flying at 50,000 feet with an AIM-54 Phoenix missile in August of that year. This successful demonstration quickly convinced the Soviets to end the MiG-25 overflights. Deliveries continued until 1978 when the 79th unit was delivered, one example remaining in the US as a testbed (this plane was later transferred to US Navy flight test duties at the Point Mugu Naval Air Station following the Revolution). Some 714 Phoenix missiles were also ordered, but only 284 of these were delivered by the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Following the overthrow of the Shah and the ascension of Ayatolla Khomeini to power, the new government cancelled further contracts for Phoenix missiles and other Western arms. Continuing decay in relations with the US led Pres. Carter to impose an arms embargo on Iran that still continues today. Without Western contractor assistance, a lack of spare parts and maintenance support quickly degraded the ability of the IRIAF to operate its fleet of US-built aircraft. Fundamentalist purges of Air Force officers, pilots, and personnel who were perceived to support the Shah further worsened the situation.

In addition to the effects of the embargo itself, it has also been reported that all 77 remaining Tomcats (two had been lost in 1977 during training flights) were somehow sabotaged so that they could no longer fire their Phoenix missiles. Who performed this sabotage and how is still not known for sure, but various accounts credit either departing Grumman technicians or Iranian Air Force personnel friendly to the US. Perhaps the simplest and most effective means of performing this sabotage would have been to remove or somehow corrupt the software in the aircraft's flight computer that interfaces with and commands the missiles, but we do not have any proof that this was done. Some sources even go so far as to claim that Iranian revolutionaries performed the sabotage as revenge against an Air Force perceived to be pro-Shah, but this seems unlikely.

Regardless, the IRIAF was in a rapid state of decline by the time the Iran-Iraq War began on 22 September 1980. Due to the poor state of both air forces, air power played little role in the conflict. Early air battles tended to favor the Iranians whose pilots were better equipped and trained, but the lingering arms embargo and repeated purges of experienced personnel continued to reduce the nation's air capabilities. Meanwhile, Iraq took delivery of Dassault Mirage F1s armed with Matra R-550 Magic air-to-air missiles that steadily improved the nation's effectiveness in the air.

As for the F-14s, only a small number were ever airworthy at any given time (generally 10 to 20) and these were typically kept out of combat. They were most often used as airborne early warning platforms owing to the design's powerful radar, and were therefore deemed too valuable to risk in air-to-air combat. In this role, the planes were sometimes defended by F-4E and F-5E fighters. At least some F-14s were lost in action, but the claims of the two sides are in poor agreement, as is always the case in warfare. Iraq claims some 11 kills:

21 November 1982: F-14 shot down by a Mirage F1EQ
March 1983: F-14 shot down by a MiG-21
11 September 1983: 2 F-14s shot down while attempting to intercept Iraqi aircraft
4 October 1983: F-14 shot down in a dogfight
21 November 1983: F-14 lost during air battle over Bahragan
24 February 1984: F-14 lost
1 July 1984: F-14 lost
11 August 1984: 3 F-14s shot down

Meanwhile, Iran claims that the F-14 accounted for 35 to 45 kills against the Iraqi Air Force for only one shot down. Iran has admitted to up to 12 further losses, but claims they all resulted from engine stall during dogfights rather than enemy fire. Though the claims of neither side have been verified, F-14s are known to have accounted for 3 air-to-air kills against Iraqi aircraft, including two Mirage F1s and a MiG-21. Western estimates for the true kill-loss ratio attained by the F-14 during the conflict credit 4 kills against 4 or 5 losses.

The US has estimated the number of operational Iranian F-14s at any given time at 15 to 20, and sometimes less than 10, due to the cannibalization of other planes to keep a few flying. Iran claims a much higher number, of course, and was indeed able to assemble 25 aircraft for a flyby over Teheran on 11 February 1985. By whatever means, Iran has been able to maintain a steady supply of spare parts for its F-14s, F-4s, and F-5s in spite of the embargo.

It is also believed that one or more F-14s were delivered to the Soviet Union in exchange for technical assistance. In addition, at least one Iranian F-14 aircrew was reported to have defected to the Soviet Union with their aircraft. Some believe that Soviet access to Iranian Phoenix missiles allowed the Vympel Design Bureau to develop the R-33/AA-9 Amos long-range missile that equips the MiG-31, but chief designer Gennadiy Sokolovskiy has indicated that his team never had such access. In any event, it is believed that Soviet and Russian expertise has allowed Iran to operate, maintain, and upgrade the F-14 fleet. The aircraft are reportedly being upgraded with a new Russian radar, engines, and a glass cockpit allowing them to serve until well into the 21st century. The Iranian press has further indicated that the surviving aircraft have been adapted for a heavy bombing roll, perhaps armed with air-to-surface anti-ship missiles. Some 50 to 55 are believed to remain in service, but only about 30 of these are considered airworthy at any one time.

posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 01:57 PM
I personally witnessed air engagements between Iranina and Iraqi fighter A/C during the mid 1980's while ona tour of duty on the Persian Gulf.

At that time, the Iraqis had superior, modern combat aircraft. Most of their strike packages that were sent out against Iranian strategic targets were composed of 3-5 Mirage F-1's equipped with Either Exocet missile or LGB's, and either offensive or defense ECM pods. The missions were longe range, complex, and well-coordinated. Some even flew over Kuwaiti and Sauid airspace, and due to intelligence I gathered at the time, it seemed like there could even be the possibility that the Saudis were providing direct logisitcal support. However, the Iraqi pilots seemed to lack "imagination", and hated to deviate from their pre-ordered flight paths. Sometimes, they had no choice, becauset their flight paths sometimes took them through US Navy formations. After the USS Stark incident, the USN was not keen on letting armed Iraqi combat aircraft near their positions, so they were vigorously warned off. If the Iraqi pilots had to substantially deveiate from their mission plan, it seemed like the whole thing would fall apart and they would RTB.

On the other hand, I also often encountered many different Iranian aircraft. Most Phantoms, but the occasional F-14 would appear as well. This was strictly inside the Gulf and we never spoke to the directly. They obviously had little or no C3 help, and often looked like they were up "on patrol", just scouting around. However, if they smelled an Iraqi A/C anywhere near them, they would always charge into combat, even if they only had primitive Sidewinders and canons to shoot. Most times, if the Iraqis saw them coming, they would jettison their external fule tanks and ordinance, and run for the hills. Well must pulled a 1/2 dozen Mirage external fuel tanks out of the Gulf waters in 1987 and 1988. The Iranians were much braver, but less well equipped and with poor coordination.

I didn't surprise me then when I saw that the vast bulk of the Iraqi AF retreated in the face of certain defeat against the Coalition in 1991. I did surprise me, however that they chose to fly to Iran.....


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