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Iran to Begin Receiving Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter Jets from Russia Starting Next Week – Report

The acquisition of the Su-35 "Flanker E," a 4.5 generation fighter jet from Russia, will significantly enhance the capabilities of the Iranian Air Force, which has previously had to rely on older fighter aircraft to defend its airspace.

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(DEFENCE SECURITY ASIA) — Iran is reportedly set to receive its first batch of Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft from Russia next week, significantly bolstering its air force’s capability to counter potential aerial attacks from adversaries such as Israel, at a time when Tehran and Tel Aviv are at a brink of an open conflict.

According to a report by the state news agency, Student News Network (SNN), Tehran will take delivery of the initial aircraft from a total of 24 Su-35 “Flanker-E” jets.

This acquisition of the 4.5 generation fighter aircraft from Russia marks a significant upgrade for the Iranian Air Force, which has relied heavily on older fighter jets.

The Iranian Air Force currently operates models like the MiG-29, as well as U.S.-made aircraft such as the F-5, F-4 Phantom, and F-14 Tomcat, acquired during the reign of Shah Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 Last week, The Washington Post, citing intelligence sources, reported that Russia would also soon provide Iran with advanced air defense systems like the S-400 “Triumf.”

Su-35 “Flanker E”


This move by Moscow, as reported by prominent U.S. media, is part of Russia’s efforts to bolster Iran’s air defense capabilities in anticipation of potential airstrikes by the United States and Israel.

Recently, Defence Security Asia reported that Russia had offered Tehran the advanced S-400 “Triumf” air defense system, capable of enhancing Iran’s ability to counter air attacks from Israel and the U.S.

Russia reportedly hosted a delegation from Iran last month to tour various military manufacturing facilities, including those involved in the production of critical components for the S-400 system.

The delegation, consisting of 17 senior Iranian officials, visited the START NPP company facilities in Yekaterinburg.

The S-400 system is highly regarded in the West for its ability to detect and destroy air targets, including stealth fighter jets like the F-35.

S-400 “Triumf”


 It can engage targets up to 400 kilometers away and is equipped with high-powered radars capable of defeating stealth technology used by aircraft such as the F-35 and bombers.

Last November, Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Mahdi Farahi announced that the country had finalized deals with Russia to acquire Su-35 fighters and Mil Mi-28 “Havoc” attack helicopters.

Iran had previously received the Yak-130 “Mitten” trainer aircraft from Russia in September, which will train Iranian pilots to operate advanced 4+++ generation fighters like the Su-35 and fifth-generation jets like the Su-57 “Felon.”

Initially, all 24 Su-35 fighters were intended for Egypt, but Cairo canceled the acquisition following threats of economic sanctions from the U.S. under CAATSA if it proceeded with the purchase.

Following Egypt’s cancellation, Russia opted to sell the aircraft to Iran.

Iranian F-4 Phantom


The transfer of the Su-35 fighters to Iran is likely part of a “reward” for military assistance provided by Iran to Russia, including thousands of “Shahed-136” suicide drones and recently, ballistic missiles used against Ukrainian infrastructure and military positions.

Military observers in the Middle East anticipate that the introduction of the Su-35 jets will aid Tehran’s efforts to modernize its air force, which still relies on older American aircraft such as the F-4 Phantom, F-14 Tomcat, and F-5, acquired during the pro-Western regime of Shah Iran.

 After the fall of Shah Iran in a revolution in 1979, the regime was replaced by Ayatollah Khomeini’s leadership.

 In addition to Russian and U.S.-made jets, the Iranian Air Force also operates older fighters from France and China. — DSA