Official: Iran wants to buy helicopters and fighters from Russia

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TEHRAN, ($1=42,195.00 Iranian Rials) – According to Sardar Bagheri, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Iran intends to purchase helicopters and fighter jets from Russia, which could significantly change the balance of the air force in the region in favor of Tehran, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing the Iranian news agency Tasnim.

Major General Mohammad Bagheri is on an official visit to Moscow, and Tasnim reports that on October 18, together with his Russian counterpart, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov, they discussed directly the purchase of Russian weapons systems – helicopters, fighters, training planes, etc.

Iran and Russia have a history of arms markets, with Tehran spending $ 10 billion on MiG-29, Sukhoi-24, and Kilo-class submarines in the early 1970s. Iran later bought radar systems, defense systems, and military transport trucks. In 2015, information emerged, from Sorena Satari, scientific vice president, that Iran has an interest in buying Su-30 fighters from Russia.

A year later, then-Defense Minister Sardar Dehgan said that during a visit to Moscow, the purchase of a Sukhoi 30SM fighter and a T-90 tank would be discussed.

In the same year, Ali Akbar Velaati, an international adviser to the supreme leader of the revolution, said in a report on his visit to Moscow that Russia was ready to sell us the Sukhoi 30 fighter jet.

The Sukhoi 30 multi-role fighter is a heavily upgraded version of the Russian Sukhoi 27 aircraft. About 12 models of the Sukhoi 30 have been built and are serving in the armies of 10 other countries, in addition to the Russian Air Force. Currently, based on the available information, MK, M2, and SM models of this fighter are being produced in Russia. Of course, the MKI model of this fighter is specifically designed for the Indian Air Force.

Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported that on October 18, the Iranian and Russian military discussed the possibility of Tehran acquiring Russia’s target Su-35 fighter jet. Later, Amir Rouhani, chief executive of the Iranian helicopter maintenance and refurbishment company, also told the Tasnim news agency that Iran should become a regional center for repairing eastern helicopters. This information comes against the background of claims by some Iranian media that Tehran wants to buy Mill 28 helicopters, as well as Yak series training aircraft.

Military experts believe that the purchase of air combat equipment, even in an environment where most Arab countries in the Persian Gulf equip their fleets, could to some extent shift the balance of the air force in favor of Iran.

Iran’s arms sanctions were lifted on October 18, 2020, following UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which allows Iran access to modern military equipment.

Russian media speculate that Iran may focus on buying Su-57 fighters, and even Su-75s. Some Russian sources also say that Tehran has the appetite to acquire the Paintsir-C1 mobile air defense system, the S-400 air defense system, and Russia’s latest T14-Armata battle tank. However, there is no official information from the Iranian media about the above-mentioned weapon systems.

With these interpretations, we have to wait for future orders and see if Iran intends to buy other equipment from Russia in addition to fighter jets and helicopters.

Washington has tried to prevent such a development

As early as 2020, during the Donald Trump administration, Washington was ready to take all measures to prevent Tehran from acquiring Russian or Chinese armored vehicles after the end of the arms embargo.

Similar intentions were announced by then-US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in an interview with journalist Lars Larson. Speaking to the Iranian authorities, Pompeo noted that the administration of US President Donald Trump “we will do everything possible to make sure that they cannot buy tanks and armored vehicles from Russia or China.”

The United States had hoped that the UN Security Council would be able to persuade China and Russia not to change the situation regarding Iran, but this did not happen. Then the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter page that the United States is seeking to extend the arms embargo on Iran while they export weapons around the world.

According to Zarif, “The United States has long been a world leader in military spending, arms sales, and a major instigator of military conflict.”

Iran during the arms embargo

We cannot ignore the fact that the imposed military embargo on Iran has left its positive imprint on the military industry in the country. Iran was forced to develop its military industry to new levels, and many military experts believe they have achieved relatively excellent results.

Tehran produces various cruise missiles for its needs. In the field of aviation and modern technology, Tehran produces at least two types of drones, the most notable of which is the strategic and attacking drone Fotros.

In 2019 the Islamic country introduced to the world its latest anti-aircraft missile system Khordad 15. Its performance is not as impressive as in Western countries or the Russian S-400, but according to unofficial information, one system detects five targets, and the system itself is deployed in combat standby for no more than five minutes.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that Iran has recently sold its anti-aircraft missile systems to Syria. To some extent, Iran has also developed its military genius about armored vehicles. At this stage does not produce such, but produces better armor for Russian tanks T-72 and T-90. The fact is that it sells such refurbished Russian tanks in Africa.

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