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­čÄČIronic!!! Iran Deploys U.S.-Made F-4 Phantom Aircraft to Escort Putin’s Official Plane

(VIDEO) An irony noted by regional defense observers is that as soon as the official convoy carrying Putin and the Russian fighter jets entered Iranian airspace, it was "welcomed" by an F-4 Phantom aircraft belonging to the Iranian Air Force, a product of the United States.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — On December 6th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin made a visit to the Middle East to meet with leaders of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

The official Ilyushin IL-96 aircraft carrying President Putin to the Middle East was escorted by four Su-35 fighter jets equipped with air-to-air missiles R-73 and R-77.

Vladimir Putin first visited the UAE before stopping in Saudi Arabia, where he held a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The flight of President Putin’s official aircraft, accompanied by four Su-35 fighter jets to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, also traversed Iranian airspace.

During this journey, the “official convoy” from Moscow was further accompanied by an Iranian Air Force aircraft.

An irony noted by regional defense observers is that as soon as the official convoy carrying Putin and the Russian fighter jets entered Iranian airspace, it was “welcomed” by an F-4 Phantom aircraft belonging to the Iranian Air Force, a product of the United States.

It is highly ironic that the official flight of the Russian President was escorted by American-made fighter jets, considered Moscow’s main competitors.

However, this is not the first instance of American-made fighter jets escorting Russian aircraft.

In 2015, an F-14 Tomcat fighter jet belonging to the Iranian Air Force, also manufactured by the United States, escorted a Tu-95 Bear bomber aircraft of the Russian Air Force while flying within Iranian airspace.

At that time, the Tu-95 bomber was on a mission lasting over nine hours, involving a flight from Engels Air Base to carry out bombing missions in Syria over a distance of 6,500 km before returning to base.

Putin
Iran’s Air Force F-4 Phantom fighter aircraft.

 

Iran initially ordered 80 F-14 Tomcat aircraft, and these fighter jets were delivered to Iran in 1976 when the country was still under the rule of the Shah of Iran, a strong ally of Washington.

After the fall of the Shah, Iran continued to use these American-made fighter jets despite military sanctions imposed by the United States, making it difficult for Iran to obtain spare parts for these aircraft.

However, the local defense industry ensured that Iran could continue to operate these American-made fighter jets.

According to local media reports, Iran currently possesses between 40 and 42 F-14 aircraft which  they upgraded it to the F-14AM (Modernized) variant, equipped with local avionics systems, including radar and radar warning receiver (RWR).

Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary to the President of Russia, stated that to accompany the official Ilyushin IL-96 aircraft, the president requires special approval from the countries where the flight takes place.

The Su-35 fighter jets are equipped with advanced radar systems, optoelectronic target tracking systems, and electronic countermeasure systems.

The action of escorting President Putin’s official aircraft by four Su-35 fighter jets illustrates the standard safety protocol for the President of Russia during international visits, ensuring the safety and integrity of the flight, according to Peskov.┬á — DSA

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