TEHRAN, IRAN — The procedure for the Su-35S fighter jets, which Iran will deliver from Russia, has been completed. The planes have already been officially purchased by the Iranian Air Force.
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The news comes from a reference to the official statement of the Iranian mission to the UN. Iranian media also claim the same. Among them is the Mehr news agency. Turkish media outlet sammunasanayist.com also claimed Iran’s purchase.
The Egyptian government has ordered 24 Sukhoi Su-35S fighter jets from the Russian Federation as part of the needs of the Egyptian Air Force [EAF]. However, the Su-35S produced by the Russian Federation for the Egyptian Air Force was not delivered for a long time.
It was claimed that the planes were not delivered due to political reasons, revealing technical problems from Egypt. The buyer of the Su-35s that Egypt did not receive is Iran. Iran, which is seeking to produce Su-35S for Egypt, has completed formal procedures with the Russian Federation.
Citing the official statement of the Iranian mission to the UN, the Iranian press reported that the purchase of the Su-35S has been completed. “After the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, Iran asked several countries to investigate the possibility of selling fighter airplanes to Iran, and Russia announced that it was ready to sell them.”
The Iran UN mission added that “Sukhoi-35 fighters are technically approved by Iran. After October 2020 when the arms sales ban on the purchase of conventional weapons Iran was lifted according to UN Security Council Resolution 2231, Iran finally agreed to buy them.”
It was noted that the planes were purchased despite pressure from Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE on Russia to cut or delay the deal. The number of fighter jets purchased and the contract price is kept secret.
According to unofficial data, Iran may have purchased Su-35S fighter jets previously ordered for the Egyptian Air Force, which remained at the factory due to Cairo’s refusal to buy the planes. Although 24 combat aircraft are known to have been ordered by Egypt, the number of aircraft produced under this order is estimated to be approximately 15.
It is noted that the purchase of new aircraft will seriously strengthen the Iranian Air Force, which suffers from a shortage of outdated equipment and spare parts due to the sanctions.
Analysts say Iran’s purchase of the Su-35 will change Israel’s plans to counter Iran’s nuclear program. Israel considers Iran’s nuclear program the biggest threat to the country. Moreover, only weeks ago it became clear that Iran already has enriched uranium for the production of the first nuclear bomb.
The Su-35 will significantly reduce Israeli flights over Iran, including Syria, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad allows Tehran-backed militias to set up bases and weapons depots. According to experts from the Middle East, the Iranian Su-35s will be able to pursue the Israeli F-35s, as well as interfere with their refueling in the air, which at some point will be too risky for Tel Aviv and the air force.
According to some reports, Iran is already preparing the permanent location of the Su-35. Weeks ago, BulgarianMilitary.com shared satellite photos of Iran’s Eagle 44 base. At the entrance to the base, a full-scale model of the Su-35 can be seen. This suggests that the Iranians have tested the underground depots and runways of the underground base to see if they are suitable for the size of the Russian fighters.
Delivery of Russian Su-35s to Iran is expected to begin in the coming months. It is not clear whether the delivery will be in one tranche or all at once. Even if Russia had them ready, it would take time to train Iranian pilots. There is even talk that Russia may be forced by Iran to develop a special two-seater version of the Su-35, which will surely delay their delivery.
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