Oct 20, 2021
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Iran sees Su under its tail

In the photo: the Su-35 multipurpose super-maneuverable fighter and the Su-30 multipurpose fighter

In the photo: the Su-35 multipurpose super-maneuverable fighter and the Su-30 multipurpose fighter (Photo: Sergey Savostyanov / TASS)

19 october Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met in Moscow with the chief Of the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces by Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, according to the website of the Russian defense department. “Our relations are developing very dynamically and are multifaceted, a vivid confirmation of this is our great joint fight against international terrorism. We are ready to continue to make every effort to maintain the gained pace of development of our relations, ”commented Sergei Shoigu on the results of the negotiations.

In the same vein Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation:

– In recent years, our bilateral cooperation has been steadily expanding. However, we have the opportunity to further expand our relationship.

In turn, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, an Iranian colleague of Valery Vasilyevich, spoke very positively about the presence of a great potential for mutual contacts:

– A good example is our fruitful cooperation in Syria. We have been cooperating in the fight against terrorism for over ten years. Especially in Syria. And we also support each other and advise on various issues that arise, including in the region and the world.

And yet, not for the sake of pleasant compliments, the chief staff officer of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) flew to Moscow. Of course, the parties discussed the current Syrian affairs, especially against the backdrop of the imminent Turkish offensive in the north of the country. The Afghan question, which arose after the American drape, did not stand aside either.

But it seems that the special theme, as the famous song says, was the airplanes. Namely, our fighters. The Persians could see with their own eyes how the situation on the Syrian front was changing thanks to the actions of the Russian Aerospace Forces. Indeed, from the point of view of military marketing, there is no better advertisement than a real result in the form of defeating the enemy.

According to Shiite media reports, Brigadier General Bagheri went to Russia at the personal invitation of Shoigu. And on his Moscow agenda, a special item was the purchase of advanced weapons from our aircraft industry. Mohammad Hossein said this directly before leaving for a meeting with Shoigu and Gerasimov. According to him, “possessing the power of drones and proven ballistic power, Iran intends to increase its aviation power as never before.”

In this regard, the Iranian media are asking whether this special visit will become a turning point in military cooperation between Russia and Iran. The answer is not as simple as it seems. Moscow, in terms of military-technical cooperation, traditionally behaves with an eye on the shouts of the State Department and requests from Tel Aviv.

Plus, Tehran seems to be able to do without our military-industrial complex. In any case, the local experts and journalists have been buzzing about this. Iran has consistently boasted of its Kowsar fighter, which is considered a good upgrade to the Northrop F-5 multipurpose aircraft, developed back in the late 1950s.

On the other hand, despite the Western contemptuous “fi” and the factually low combat effectiveness of the Kowsar, the very fact that the Persians have learned to make fourth-generation vehicles is expensive. On the fingers of one hand, you can count the countries that are capable of independently producing jet fighters at their industrial base.

In principle, many Western experts associate the very appearance of its aircraft-building industry in Iran with the refusal of our country to supply advanced fighters to Tehran. Therefore, we can safely say that now the Persians are more in need of Russian aircraft-building technologies than in reality in the aircraft themselves.

For this they are ready for much, especially since Moscow also needs to expand its military exports. Iranian media cite the following words of Bagheri in this regard:

– Given the opportunities for cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of the military and defense industry, bilateral relations between Iran and Russia will expand as never before.

It is clear that no one with the Persians will share critical aircraft-building know-how. But Iranian engineers seem to have learned the “fundamentals of interchangeability” well, as the clones of American drones speak of. We can say with a high degree of certainty that in five, at most ten years, Iran will have clones of our fighters if they are part of the Persian Air Force.

Commenting on the specifics of possible or even signed contracts, Major General Mohammad Bagheri emphasized:

– Agreements on the supply of weapons between Iran and Russia have already been concluded after the lifting of the embargo on arms supplies to Iran. Continuing negotiations on the implementation of the agreements reached is one of the goals of this trip.

According to a number of Iranian sources, Tehran is interested in acquiring various types of Russian weapons. Including Su-30, Su-35 and MiG-35 aircraft, Mi-28N and K-52 helicopters, as well as fifth-generation Su-57 fighters or even the Su-75 Checkmate, which has never flown before.

In this list, the Su-30 stands out. In particular, the publication “Pars Today”, propagandizing the achievements of Iran, writes: “For Iran, which has missiles with a flight range of 2000 km, it would be a clear advantage to have a Su-30 with an operational range of 1500 km, which can be doubled by installing additional fuel tank. With a fuel capacity of 5270 kg, the Su-30MK is also capable of performing a combat mission lasting four and a half hours to cover a distance of 3000 km. Refueling in flight can increase this range up to 5200 km or increase the flight duration up to 10 hours. ” The very thing is to strike at Israel.

Nevertheless, the Iranian authorities are clearly aware that the current relatively good relations with Russia are based on the principle “the enemy of my enemy (meaning the United States, – ed.) – a friend of mine”. Ideologically, Tehran and Moscow are more likely opponents, especially against the background of the nuclear program of the Ayatollah regime, which is strongly discouraged by the Kremlin.

However, this is the rare case when temporary cooperation between the two countries can turn out to be long-term. Today’s picture of the world is such that, in principle, none of the great powers wants to change the current security structure. Say what you like, there has been no big war for more than 70 years, and they are not looking for good from the good.

On the other hand, there have not yet been clear signals from the Russian Defense Ministry about the sale of advanced Russian fighters to Iran. From the official reports on the meeting of the chief staff officers of the two countries on October 19, it can be understood that Moscow is interested in cooperation of a completely different plan.

“We can continue to carry out this (joint) work in various regions, given that the situation is not getting easier,” Sergei Shoigu said.

– This concerns Afghanistan and the threats emanating from this region. This applies to both illegal drug trafficking and the emergence of ISIS * on the territory of neighboring states.

* The “Islamic State” (ISIS) is recognized as a terrorist organization, whose activities in Russia are officially banned by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.

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