Defence Security Asia
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Iran Continues to Place Its Hopes on 50-Year-Old Fighter Aircraft, Su-20/22

These enhancements to Iran's Su-20/22 fleet have notably included the integration of advanced weaponry systems, such as satellite-guided glide bombs and air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM).

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Despite surpassing the half-century mark, the Iranian Air Force continues to place significant reliance on its fleet of Soviet-era Su-20/22 fighter aircraft, having embarked on a series of upgrades in recent years to bolster their operational capabilities.

These enhancements to Iran’s Su-20/22 fleet have notably included the integration of advanced weaponry systems, such as satellite-guided glide bombs and air-launched cruise missiles (ALCM).

Specifically, the fighter jets have been equipped to deploy the “Yaseen” glide bomb, which boasts a range of 50 kilometers, and the “Arman” air-launched cruise missile.

This upgrade mirrors tactics observed in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has extensively utilized glide bombs.

These weapons, capable of striking targets from considerable distances, are launched by Russian fighter jets from beyond the reach of Ukrainian military air defense systems.

This strategy effectively minimizes the risk of the aircraft being intercepted by enemy anti-aircraft guided missiles.

Iran

Introduced to the public in 2019, Iran’s “Yaseen” glide bombs have been designed for deployment from both manned and unmanned platforms, capable of engaging targets with high precision across varying distances, irrespective of the time of day or weather conditions.

Tipping the scales at 300 kilograms, of which 215 kilograms are allocated to the explosive charge, the “Yaseen” glide bombs are engineered for maximum destructive impact upon their targets.

These domestically produced glide bombs are equipped with satellite-guided navigation systems, achieving a Circular Error Probable (CEP) of approximately 10 meters, which underscores their high precision in target acquisition and engagement.

Conversely, the “Arman” air-launched cruise missile represents a strategic evolution from the short-range ballistic missile known as “Ababil.”

The missile’s adaptation for use with Iran’s enhanced Su-20/22 fighter jets underscores Tehran’s ambition to cultivate an advanced air-launched arsenal, drawing parallels with Russia’s development of the hypersonic guided missile “Khizhal.”

Iran
“Yaseen” satellite-guide glide bombs

 

The advancement of the “Arman” air-launched cruise missile epitomizes Iran’s commitment to fortifying its aerial military capabilities, aiming to bolster its deterrence against potential threats.

Details surrounding the “Arman” missile remain scarce, with limited information currently accessible to the public.

Nevertheless, it is projected that Iran’s air force will experience a considerable enhancement in its operational capabilities with the forthcoming addition of Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.

This acquisition is widely perceived as a reciprocal gesture for Iran’s support of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine. – DSA

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