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Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

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The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) is the aviation branch
Air force
An air force, also known in some countries as an air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military organization that primarily conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services that is responsible for aerial warfare as distinct from an army, navy or...

 of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed.
The Air Force did not play a significant role in the long Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

, being crippled by purges in its early stages and then being relegated to defensive duties.

The Air Force has attempted with some success to maintain in service the large number of American-built aircraft which Iran acquired during the Shah's regime. The Air Force has turned to purchases of Soviet and Chinese aircraft, as well as pressing ex-Iraqi aircraft into service, and indigenously built aircraft, in order to maintain a capable force.

History


The IRIAF came into being when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) was re-named following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, in February 1979. The British publishing company Orbis' Warplane partwork magazine seems to indicate the renaming did not actually take place until after the Iran-Iraq War
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

 had broken out.

This "new" Iranian air force largely inherited the equipment and structure of the former IIAF, even losing most of its leading officers in the course of post-revolutionary chaos, as well as due to the prosecution of those considered as loyal to the Shah, pro-U.S. or elsewhere by the new government in Tehran.

Due to strained relations with the west, Iran had to procure new equipment from Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Russia and the People's Republic of China. Since the Revolution, the exact composition of the IRIAF is hard to determine, but estimates do exist. Many aircraft belonging to the Iraqi Air Force
Iraqi Air Force
The Iraqi Air Force or IQAF is the military branch in Iraq responsible for the policing of international borders, surveillance of national assets and aerial operations...

 took refuge in Iran during the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in 1991, and many were put into service with the IRIAF or taken apart for spare parts.

Due to the continuous spare parts shortages faced by the air force, a decision was made in the late 1980s to develop a local aerospace industry to support the air force.

In 2002, Iran with the co-operation of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, successfully started the manufacture of the Iran-140; a licence-built version of the Antonov
Antonov
Antonov, or Antonov Aeronautical Scientist/Technical Complex , formerly the Antonov Design Bureau, is a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and services company with particular expertise in the field of very large aircraft construction. Antonov ASTC is a state-owned commercial company...

 An-140
Antonov An-140
|-Accidents and Incidents:The An-140 has suffered five major accidents. Two of them had no fatalities, and three had all on board killed.#In December 2002 an aircraft carrying many of Ukraine's top aviation designers and engineers crashed into a mountainside as it was preparing to land in...

 transport aircraft. Simultaneously, Iran began construction of two domestically produced fighters, upgraded using technology from the F-14 Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

 and the F-5 Tiger II
F-5 Freedom Fighter
The Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter and the F-5E/F Tiger II are part of a family of widely-used light supersonic fighter aircraft, designed and built by Northrop...

. The fighters have been named the Azarakhsh
Azarakhsh
-References:...

 and the Shafaq
Shafaq
-See also:-External links:* * *...

.

Since then the country has also become self-sufficient in the manufacture of helicopters. The country claims that it is capable of producing the old U.S. AH-1 Cobra
AH-1 Cobra
The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a two-bladed, single engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It shares a common engine, transmission and rotor system with the older UH-1 Iroquois...

 gunship. Additionally, Iran also produces Bell Helicopter Bell 212 and Bell 206
Bell 206
The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- or twin-engine helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec plant. Originally developed as the Bell YOH-4 for the United States Army's Light Observation Helicopter program, the 206 failed to be selected...

 helicopters in serial production. These are known respectively as the Shabaviz 2-75 and the Shabaviz 206.

Iran–Iraq War (1980-88)


A series of purges and forced retirements resulted in the manpower of the service being halved between February 1979 and July 1980, leaving the IRIAF ill-prepared for the Iran–Iraq War (also called the "1st Persian Gulf War"). The sudden Iraqi air strikes against six Iranian airfields and four other military installations, launched on the afternoon of 22 September 1980, came as a complete surprise and caused a shock in the IRIAF.

The Iranians retaliated with operation Kaman-99 which involved 206 F-4, F-5 and F-14 aircraft. 23 September 1980, Iran launched Operation Kaman 99 as 40 F-4 Phantoms, armed with Mark 82, Mark 83 and Mark 84 bombs and AGM-65 Maverick missiles, took off from Hamadan. After refueling in mid-air the Phantoms reached the Iraqi capital Baghdad, where they attacked: al-Rashid, al-Habbaniyah and al-Kut airbases. Meanwhile, eight More F-4s took off from Tehran and launched a second attack on the al-Rashid airbase.

Iran launched 58 F-5E Tiger IIs from Tabriz, which were sent to attack Mosul Airbase. After the attack on Mosul Airbae, 50 F-5Es attacked Nasiriyah Airbase, which was heavily damaged.

As all 146 Iranian F-4s and F-5s had been sent for a bombing raid on Iraq, 60 F-14 Tomcats were scrambled to defend Iranian airspace against a possible Iraqi retaliation. Iranian F-14s managed to down 2 Iraqi MiG-21s (1 MiG-21RF and 1 MiG-21MF) and 3 Iraqi MiG-23s (MiG-23MS), an Iranian F-5E also shot down an Iraqi Su-20 during the operation. Iraqi MiG-23s managed to down 2 F-5Es, while Iraqi MiG-21s also downed 2 F-5Es. Iraqis also by mistake shot down one of their own Il-76MD strategic airlifters with a SA-3 SAM.

The Iraqis however were well prepared for the attack and had flown over most of their air force to other Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, this made sure that most of the Iraqi Air Force survived the operation.

Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi military were dealt a heavy blow when Iranian Air Force vulnerabilities failed to materialize. All Iraqi airbases near Iran were out of order for weeks and, according to Iran, Iraq's aerial efficacy was reduced by 55%. This allowed Iranians to regroup and prepare for the upcoming Iraqi invasion.

Although the readiness rates of the IRIAF significantly increased in the following months, its overall role and influence declined, as the clerical government prioritized resources for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps
The Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution , often called Revolutionary Guards, is a branch of Iran's military, founded after the Iranian revolution...

 (IRGC) militias and simultaneously attempted to develop a separate air arm for this service.

After the successful liberation of most Iranian areas captured by the Iraqis in the first half of 1982, the situation of the IRIAF changed completely. From an air arm that was offensive by nature, it was largely relegated to air defense and relatively infrequent bombing attacks against targets of industrial and military significance inside Iraq. Simultaneously, the IRIAF had to learn how to maintain and keep operational its large fleet of U.S.-built aircraft and helicopters without outside help, due to American sanctions. Relying primarily on antiquated equipment purchased from the U.S.A. in the 1970s, the Iranians began establishing their own aerospace industry; their efforts in this remained largely unrecognized until recently.

During 1984 and 1985, the IRIAF found itself confronted by an ever better organized and equipped opponent, as the Iraqi Air force - reinforced by deliveries of advanced fighter-bombers from France and the Soviet Union - launched numerous offensives against Iranian population centers and oil-export hubs. These became better known as "The Tanker War" and "The War of the Cities". To defend against an increasing number of Iraqi air strikes, the IRIAF leaned heavily on its large fleet of Grumman F-14 Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...

 air superiority fighters. Tomcats were mainly deployed in defense of the strategically important Khark Island (main hub for Iranian oil exports), and Tehran. Over 300 air-to-air engagements against IrAF fighters, fighter-bombers, and bombers, were fought in these areas alone between 1980 and 1988.

Confronted with the fact that it could not obtain replacements for equipment lost in what became a war of attrition against Iraq, the IRIAF remained defense-orientated for the rest of the conflict, conserving its surviving assets as a "force in being". From late 1987, the IRIAF found itself confronted also with U.S. Navy fighters over the Persian Gulf. A number of confrontations that occurred between August 1987 and April 1988 stretched available IRIAF assets to the limit, almost exhausting its capability to defend Iranian air space against Iraqi air strikes.

Post Iran-Iraq War


Immediately after the end of the Iran–Iraq War, the IRIAF was partially rebuilt through limited purchases of MiG-29 fighters and Su-24 bombers from the Soviet Union, as well as F-7M and FT-7 fighters from China. While providing needed reinforcement to the Iranian Air Force, these types never replaced the older, U.S.-built F-4 Phantoms, F-14s (the IARIAF is now the only air arm in the world using the fighter), or F-5s. Instead, the IRIAF continued its efforts to keep these types in service, and began a number of projects to refurbish and upgrade them.

During the 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, numerous Iraqi pilots flew Iraqi Air Force aircraft to Iran to avoid destruction by coalition forces. The Iranians impounded these aircraft and never returned them, putting them in service in the IRIAF and claiming them as reparations for the Iran–Iraq War. The aircraft included several Mirage F1s, MiG-25 Foxbats, MiG-21 Fishbeds, MiG-27s, Su-24s, MiG-29s, Su-20s, Su-22M Fitters, Su-25 Frogfoots, MiG-23s, and a number of Il-76s, including the secret, one-off AEW-AWACS Il-76 "ADNAN 1" prototype.

In 2006, after Iranian media published a series of reports suggesting that Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 was interested in selling its 21 F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 Fighting Falcon
The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole jet fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force . Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,400 aircraft have been built since...

s to Iran, a Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 adviser confirmed to the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 that "Venezuela's military is considering selling its fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to another country, possibly Iran, in response to a U.S. ban on arms sales to President Hugo Chavez's government". In response, Sean McCormack
Sean McCormack
Sean McCormack is a former United States Assistant Secretary of State. He was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Department Spokesman on June 2, 2005, and served until January 20, 2009.-Early career:...

, a U.S. State Department spokesperson, warned Venezuela that "without the written consent of the United States, Venezuela can't transfer these defense articles, and in this case F-16s, to a third country".

According to Moscow Defense Brief
Moscow Defense Brief
Moscow Defense Brief is a bimonthly English-language defense magazine published by Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies , an independent defense think-tank.- Overview :...

, Russia delivered 6 Su-25UBK ground attack fighter-trainers, 12 Mi-171Sh military transport helicopters, 21 Mi-171 transport helicopters, and 3 Mi-17B-5 medical helicopters to Iran between 2000 and 2006. A $700 million repair and modernization program of the IRIAF MiG-29 and Su-24 fighters was also completed.

On 22 September 2009, an IRIAF Il-76 collided with
2009 Iranian Air Force mid-air collision
The 2009 Iranian Air Force Ilyushin IL-76MD accident of 22 September 2009 resulted in the destruction of Iran's only functional Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, an Ilyushin IL-76MD...

 an F-5E shortly after an annual parade in Tehran and crashed near Varamin
Varamin
Varamin is a city in and the capital of Varamin County, Tehran Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 208,569, in 53,639 families.Varamin has an extensive history...

, killing all seven people on board.

Current composition


The IRIAF composition has changed very little since 1979. The first, very limited re-location of several units - including disbandment of some, and establishing of new squadrons - occurred in autumn 1980, when the F-4D-fleet was concentrated at Shiraz, two squadrons of F-4Es moved from Shiraz to Hamedan, and a squadron of F-14 Tomcats deployed to Mehrabad. Other deployments during the war with Iraq were mainly of temporary character, even if a major re-organization of existing air-defense assets - foremost SAM- and AAA-units - was undertaken in 1985. There has been no major re-organization during all of the 1990s either.

Equipment, capabilities and combat performance of the IRIAF strongly influenced the development of the Iraqi Air Force (IrAF), during the 1980s, but also that of the United Arab Emirates Air Force, in the 1990s and the most recent times.

Jane's Sentinel Estimate of Units 1993


Source: Jane's Sentinel, Islamic Republic of Iran, 1993, p. 27
Tactical Air Base Location Type Unit
TAB 1 Mehrabad F-5E squadron
Mehrabad F-7M squadron
Mehrabad F-14A/MiG-29 squadron
Mehrabad C-130H/Il-76 squadron
Mehrabad F 27/Falcom squadron
TAB 2 Tabriz F-4D/E squadron
Tabriz F-5E squadron
Tabriz F-7M squadron
Tabriz C-130H flight
TAB 3 Hamadan F-6 squadron
Hamadan F-7M squadron
TAB 4 Dezful
Dezful
Dezful is a city in and the capital of Dezful County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 228,507, in 55,711 families.The city houses a bridge that dates back to 300 BC.In 2006, the city had 235,819 inhabitants.-History:...

F-4D/E squadron
TAB 4 Dezful
Dezful
Dezful is a city in and the capital of Dezful County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 228,507, in 55,711 families.The city houses a bridge that dates back to 300 BC.In 2006, the city had 235,819 inhabitants.-History:...

F-5E squadron
TAB 5 not identified
TAB 6 Bushehr F-4D/E squadron
Bushehr F-7M flight
Bushehr C-130H flight
TAB 7 Shiraz F-5E squadron
Shiraz F-14A/MiG-29 squadron
Shiraz C-130H/Il-76 squadron
Shiraz F-27 flight

Su-30


The Jerusalem Post reported that Iran has signed an arms deal with the Russian Rosoboronexport arms group to buy 250 Su-30 MKM warplanes and 20 Il-78 MKI aerial tankers. It is reported that Israeli defense officials were investigating the potential Iran-Russia deal, in which Iran would pay $1 billion a dozen squadrons’ worth of the jets. Iran and Russia have both denied this and have rejected these claims as propaganda.
In a recent broadcast the "Mehr News Agency" has reported that they (the reporters) saw a dozen Su 30s in a maneuver that took place on 15 and 16 September 2008; further the report reads: "In this joint maneuver of the IRIAF and the AFAGIR which is called the 'Guardians of the Nations Skies' the Air Forces of Iran have tested domestically developed systems as well as newly purchased systems (from Russia and China)." The harsh warnings of Israel that it could attack Iran at any time and the Russo-American conflict over Georgia have led to reported weapons sales to Iran by Russia, but so far there have no details been revealed by either side.

J-10


The Russian news agency Novosti reported that Business & Financial Markets said Iran has signed a deal with China to buy two squadrons/24 of J-10
Chengdu J-10
The Chengdu J-10 is a multirole fighter aircraft designed and produced by the People's Republic of China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation for the People's Liberation Army Air Force...

 fighter planes with Russian-made AL-31FN engines.
The total cost of the planes is estimated at $1 billion, and deliveries are expected between 2008 and 2010.
China denied that it had agreed to sell its home-grown fighter jets to Iran, saying no talks had taken place. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters: "It's not true, it is an irresponsible report, China has not had talks with Iran on J-10 jets."

JF-17 Thunder


According to Global Security, in July 2003 Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Corporation (CAIC) unveiled the new ‘Super-7’ or Chao Qi fighter plane to the public, China supposedly received orders from Iran. The plane, now called the FC-1 is an export version of the JF-17 Thunder
JF-17 Thunder
The PAC JF-17 Thunder , or CAC FC-1 Xiaolong , is a light-weight, single-engine, multi-role combat aircraft developed jointly by the Chengdu Aircraft Industries Corporation of China, the Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex...

 and entered production in 2006. As of 2008 Iran hasn't received any such plane.

Aircraft inventory




! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Aircraft
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Country of Manufacture
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Type
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Year(s) Produced
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Iranian Designation
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|In Service
! style="text-align: left; background: #aabccc;"|Notes
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Air superiority fighter
Air superiority fighter
An air superiority fighter is a type of fighter aircraft intended to gain air superiority in a war, by entering and seizing control of enemy airspace. Air superiority fighters are designed to effectively engage enemy fighters, more than other types of aircraft...


|-----
| F-14A Tomcat
F-14 Tomcat
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The Tomcat was developed for the United States Navy's Naval Fighter Experimental program following the collapse of the F-111B project...


|
| Air-superiority
| 1974–1979
|
| 44
| 25 operational
|-
| Dassault Mirage F1
Dassault Mirage F1
The Dassault Mirage F1 is a French air-superiority fighter and attack aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation as a successor of the Mirage III family. The Mirage F1 entered service in the French Air Force in the early seventies...


|
| Air-superiority
| 1991
|
| 24
| Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force seized over 24 F1EQ and F1BQ flown over from Iraq during the Persian Gulf war in 1991.
|-
| |Mig-29C/UB
Mikoyan MiG-29
The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...


|
| Air-superiority
|
|
| 40
| MiG-29S (Fulcrum-C) and MiG-29UB Actualized to S version by Russia.
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Multirole
|-----
|-
| Shenyang F-6 Farmer
Shenyang J-6
The Shenyang J-6 was the Chinese-built version of the Soviet MiG-19 'Farmer' fighter aircraft.-Design and development:...


|
| Multirole
| 1960s
| F-6
| 18
| Being phased out. The J-6's participation in the Iran–Iraq War were mostly ground attack sorties performed by both Iranian and Iraqi J-6 units.
|-
| F-4D/E Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...


|
| Multirole
| 1960s
|
| 65
| Originally ordered 225 , being phased out.
|-
|-----
| F-5A/B/E/F
|
| Multirole
| 1965
|
| 75
| 75 F-5E and F operational. Originally Ordered 166 F-5 and 15 additional RF-5E, While receiving the F-5E and F, Iran started selling its F-5A and Bs to other countries including Ethiopia, Turkey, Greece and South Vietnam; by 1976, they were all sold apart from some F-5Bs retained for training.
|-
|-----
| HESA Saeqeh
|
| Multirole
| 2007–present
|
| 5 (24)
| Iran claims a squadron (24) is being formed with 5 aircraft confirmed to exist (via Photographic evidence)http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_okE2fz_Pef8/StDJVgHI0KI/AAAAAAAABog/fWwLkiZshrM/s1600-h/9_8807181585_L600.jpg. Developed from Northrop F-5.
|-
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Interceptor
Interceptor aircraft
An interceptor aircraft is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically to prevent missions of enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. Interceptors generally rely on high speed and powerful armament in order to complete their mission as quickly as possible and set up...


|-----
| F-7M Airguard
Chengdu J-7
The Chengdu Jian-7 is a People's Republic of China-built version of the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21. Though production ceased in 2008 it continues to serve, mostly as an interceptor, in several air forces, including China's.-Design and development:...


|
| Interceptor
|
|
| 17
|
|-
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Close air support
Close air support
In military tactics, close air support is defined as air action by fixed or rotary winged aircraft against hostile targets that are close to friendly forces, and which requires detailed integration of each air mission with fire and movement of these forces.The determining factor for CAS is...


|-----
| Sukhoi Su-25
Sukhoi Su-25
The Sukhoi Su-25 is a single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft developed in the Soviet Union by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It was designed to provide close air support for the Soviet Ground Forces. The first prototype made its maiden flight on 22 February 1975...


|
| Close air support
| N/A
|
| 13
| 7 ex-Iraqi aircraft, 6 ordered from Russia
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Ground-attack aircraft
|-----
|-
| HESA Azarakhsh
|
| Close air support
| 1997–2001
| Azarakhsh
| 6
| A production schedule established for 30 aircraft over the next several years. Developed from Northrop F-5.
|-
| Sukhoi Su-24
Sukhoi Su-24
The Sukhoi Su-24 is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. This variable-sweep wing, twin-engined two-seater carried the USSR's first integrated digital navigation/attack system...


|
| Close air support
| N/A
|
| 32
| 12 Ordered from Soviet Union, 24 ex-Iraqi aircraft
|-
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...


|-----
| Agusta-Bell 206
Bell 206
The Bell 206 is a family of two-bladed, single- or twin-engine helicopters, manufactured by Bell Helicopter at its Mirabel, Quebec plant. Originally developed as the Bell YOH-4 for the United States Army's Light Observation Helicopter program, the 206 failed to be selected...


|
| Utility helicopter
|
| AB 212
| 5
|
|-
| Panha Shabaviz 2061
|
| Utility helicopter
|
| AB 206A
| 3
|
|-
| Agusta-Sikorsky AS-61
H-3 Sea King
The Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King is a twin-engined anti-submarine warfare helicopter. It served with the United States Navy and other forces, and continues to serve in many countries around the world. The Sea King has been built under license in Italy and Japan, and in the United Kingdom as the...


|
| Helicopter
|
| AS-61A4
| 2
|
|-
| Bell 214
Bell 214
|-See also:-External links:...


|
| Medium-lift transport helicopter
|
| Bell 214C
| 25
|
|-
| Boeing CH-47 Chinook
|
| Heavy-lift transport helicopter
|
| CH-47C
| 4
| built by Elicotteri Meridionali
|-
| Kaman HH-43 Huskie
|
| rescue helicopter
|
| HH-43F
| 8
|
|-
| Mil Mi-8
Mil Mi-8
The Mil Mi-8 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship. The Mi-8 is the world's most-produced helicopter, and is used by over 50 countries. Russia is the largest operator of the Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter....


|
| Medium-lift transport helicopter
|
| Mi-8MTW
| 4
|
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling
Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling , air-to-air refueling or tanking, is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another during flight....


|-----
|-
| Boeing 707
Boeing 707
The Boeing 707 is a four-engine narrow-body commercial passenger jet airliner developed by Boeing in the early 1950s. Its name is most commonly pronounced as "Seven Oh Seven". The first airline to operate the 707 was Pan American World Airways, inaugurating the type's first commercial flight on...


|
| Aerial refueling
|
| 707-3J9C
| 10
| many modified for special missions
|-
| Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...


|
| Aerial refueling
|
| 747-100F
| 5
|
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | VIP
VIP
VIP and V.I.P. is a three-letter acronym that may refer to:-In general:* Vacuum insulated panel* Values, Influence, and Peers, an anti-crime campaign in Ontario elementary schools* Variable Information Printing, a form of on-demand printing...


|-----
|-
| Dassault Falcon 20
Dassault Falcon 20
The Dassault Falcon 20 is a French business jet and was the first of a family of business jets built by Dassault Aviation.-Design and development:...


|
| VIP transport
|
|
| 1
|
|-
| Dassault Falcon 50
Dassault Falcon 50
|-See also:-References:* Taylor, John W R. . Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK:Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.-External links:* *...


|
| VIP transport
|
|
| 3
|
|-
| Lockheed JetStar
Lockheed JetStar
The Lockheed JetStar is a business jet produced from the early 1960s through the 1970s. The JetStar was the first dedicated business jet to enter service. It was also one of the largest aircraft in the class for many years, seating ten plus two crew...


|
| VIP transport
|
| JetStar II
| 1
|
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Trainer
Trainer (aircraft)
A trainer is a class of aircraft designed specifically to facilitate in-flight training of pilots and aircrews. The use of a dedicated trainer aircraft with additional safety features—such as tandem flight controls, forgiving flight characteristics and a simplified cockpit arrangement—allows...


|-----
|-
| Beechcraft Bonanza
Beechcraft Bonanza
The Beechcraft Bonanza is an American general aviation aircraft introduced in 1947 by The Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. , it is still being produced by Hawker Beechcraft, and has been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history...


|
| trainer
|
| F33C
| 20
|
|-
| Embraer EMB 312 Tucano
Embraer EMB 312 Tucano
The Embraer EMB 312 Tucano is a two seat turboprop basic trainer developed in Brazil. The prototype first flew in 1980 and initial production units were delivered in 1983. The Tucano family of aircraft became one of Embraer's first international marketing successes, with 600 units produced...


|
| Basic trainer
|
|
| 15
|
|-
| Fajr-3
Fajr-3 (aircraft)
-See also:-References:*Jackson, Paul. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 2003–2004. Coulsdon, UK: Jane's Information Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7106-2537-5.* - IRAN AIR SHOW 2008* , Manufacturer exporting direct from IRAN...


|
| Trainer
|
| F.3
| N/A
|
|-
| IAMI Parastoo
|
| Trainer
|
|
| 12 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/airforce-equipment.htm
|
|-
| HESA Simorgh
|
| Trainer
|
|
|
|
|-
| Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer
Pilatus PC-7
The Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer is a low-wing tandem-seat training aircraft, manufactured by Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The aircraft is capable of all basic training functions including aerobatics, instrument, tactical and night flying. It has been selected by more than twenty air forces as...


|
| Trainer
|
|
| 20
|
|-
| PAC Mushshak
Saab Safari
-See also:- References :* * * *...


|
| Trainer
|
| Mushshak
| 23
| A Version of Saab Safari
Saab Safari
-See also:- References :* * * *...

 built by Pakistan
|-
| Dorna
HESA Dorna
The Dorna or Lark is a jet-powered Iranian training aircraft. The aircraft was first publicised in 1999 when Iranian air force General Habibollah Baghal claimed that a locally designed Dorna trainer aircraft had entered production...

/Tazarv
|
| Advanced trainer
|
| N/A
| 2
| 25 planned for 2010 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/airforce-equipment.htm
|-
| Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
T-33 Shooting Star
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the...


|
| Advanced trainer
|
| T-33A
| 5
|
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...


|-----
|-
| Fokker F27 Friendship
|
| Tactical airlift
|
| F27-400M
F27-600
| 11
3
|
|-
| Harbin Y-12
Harbin Y-12
-See also:-Bibliography:* Taylor, John W R. . Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK: Jane's Information Group, 1988. ISBN 07106-0867-5....


|
| Utility transport
|
|
| 8
|
|-
| Ilyushin Il-76
Ilyushin Il-76
The Ilyushin Il-76 is a multi-purpose four-engined strategic airlifter designed by Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967. Intended as a replacement for the Antonov An-12, the Il-76 was designed for delivering heavy machinery to remote, poorly-serviced areas...


|
| Strategic transport
|
|
| 15
|
|-
| Lockheed C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...


|
| Tactical transport
|
| C-130E
C-130H
| 15
| At least 15 C-130s still in use.
|-
| Pilatus PC-6 Porter
|
| Utility transport
|
|
| 12
|
|-
| Rockwell Commander 690
|
| Utility transport
|
| 690A
| 4
|
|-
| Xian Y-7
Xian Y-7
|-External links:* http://www.airforceworld.com/pla/y7-transporter.htm Y-7 Transporter and variations, Chinese* http://www.airdisaster.com/cgi-bin/aircraft_detail.cgi?aircraft=Xian+Yunshuji++Y7-100C...


|
| Tactical transport
|
| Y-7
| 14
| built by Xian
|-
| Socata TB
Socata TB
|-Specifications :-Specifications :-See also:...


|
| Utility transport
|
| TB 20
TB 200
| 6
6
|
|-
| HESA IrAn-140
HESA IrAn-140
|-See also:* Iran Aviation Industries Organization* Military of Iran* List of Iranian Air Force aircraft* Iranian military industry* Current Equipment of the Iranian Army-External links:* - Globalsecurity.org...


|
| Transport
|
|
| 5
|
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Maritime Patrol
Maritime patrol
Maritime patrol is the task of monitoring areas of water. Generally conducted by military and law enforcement agencies, maritime patrol is usually aimed at identifying human activities....


|-----
|-
| Lockheed P-3 Orion
P-3 Orion
The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. Lockheed based it on the L-188 Electra commercial airliner. The aircraft is easily recognizable by its distinctive tail stinger or...


|
| Maritime patrol
|
| P-3F
| 3
| 71ASW SQN
|-----
! style="align: center; background: lavender;" colspan="7" | Airborne Early Warning
Airborne Early Warning
An airborne early warning and control system is an airborne radar system designed to detect aircraft at long ranges and control and command the battle space in an air engagement by directing fighter and attack plane strikes...


|-----
|-
| Ilyushin Il-76
Ilyushin Il-76
The Ilyushin Il-76 is a multi-purpose four-engined strategic airlifter designed by Ilyushin design bureau. It was first planned as a commercial freighter in 1967. Intended as a replacement for the Antonov An-12, the Il-76 was designed for delivering heavy machinery to remote, poorly-serviced areas...


|
| Electronic warfare
|
| Adnan-1
| 0
| In 1991 Gulf War two IL-76AEW fled from Iraq to Iran where they remained. Only one remained operational for transport purposes, as the AWACS systems on board were no longer operational. This aircraft was destroyed in the 2009 Iranian Air Force mid-air collision
2009 Iranian Air Force mid-air collision
The 2009 Iranian Air Force Ilyushin IL-76MD accident of 22 September 2009 resulted in the destruction of Iran's only functional Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, an Ilyushin IL-76MD...

 on 22 September 2009.
|}

Previous aircraft in service included the AH-1 Cobra
AH-1 Cobra
The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a two-bladed, single engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It shares a common engine, transmission and rotor system with the older UH-1 Iroquois...

 gunship and the one-off AEW-AWACS prototype Il-76 "ADNAN 1."

Facilities


In the last several years several new airfields have been constructed in central- and eastern Iran. Some of these facilities have since seen full-scale deployments of IRIAF units, and it now appears that at least two became permanent "Tactical Fighter Bases" (TFBs). These are the first such bases established since 1979. Except new airfields, with Chinese support, the IRIAF constructed also a number of new early warning radar sites around the country. Its ability to control the national airspace, however, remains limited - mainly due to the rugged terrain and lack of airborne early warning assets.

Aside from maintaining 14 TFBs, the IRIAF operates numerous temporary detachments on several minor airfields around the country. Ex-Iraqi Mirage F.1EQs, usually based at TFB.14, near Mashhad, were frequently seen over the Persian Gulf, in 2005 and 2006.

Markings



The IRIAF markings are only slightly different to those used by the IIAF.

The main difference is addition of the word "Allah
Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

" (meaning "God" in Arabic), in red, on the white field of the fin flash, and the text "Allah hu Akbar
Takbir
The Takbīr or Tekbir is the Arabic term for the phrase ' . It is usually translated "God is [the] Greatest," or "God is Great". It is a common Islamic Arabic expression...

" (translated to "God is greater"), in white, on the bottom of the green, and the top of the red field, though the application of such varies with some aircraft still carrying the simplified tricolor on the tail, it is unknown if this is due to simply saving time and effort, or if these are left overs from the 1970s.

The roundel remains the same as used before.

The word "Allah" is applied also on a number of F-5 Tiger IIs on the top of the fin, and undersides of the port (left) wing of IRIAF F-14 Tomcats.

Air-to-Air missiles

  • AIM-7 Sparrow
    AIM-7 Sparrow
    The AIM-7 Sparrow is an American, medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile operated by the United States Air Force, United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, as well as various allied air forces and navies. Sparrow and its derivatives were the West's principal beyond visual...

  • AIM-9 Sidewinder
    AIM-9 Sidewinder
    The AIM-9 Sidewinder is a heat-seeking, short-range, air-to-air missile carried mostly by fighter aircraft and recently, certain gunship helicopters. The missile entered service with United States Air Force in the early 1950s, and variants and upgrades remain in active service with many air forces...

  • AIM-54 Phoenix
    AIM-54 Phoenix
    The AIM-54 Phoenix is a radar-guided, long-range air-to-air missile , carried in clusters of up to six missiles on F-14 Tomcats, its only launch platform. The Phoenix was the United States' only long-range air-to-air missile. The weapons system based on Phoenix was the world's first to allow...

  • Vympel R-27
  • Vympel R-73
    Vympel R-73
    The Vympel R-73 developed by Vympel machine-building design bureau, is the most modern Russian short-range air-to-air missile.-Development:...

  • PL-5
    PL-5
    The PL-5 air-to-air missile is a short-range, infra-red guided missile use by Chinese fighters...


Air-to-Surface missiles


On 8 March 2009, Iran declared that it has successfully armed some of its front-line fighter jets with domestically manufactured long-range air-to-surface missiles, which are capable of hitting targets within a range of more than 110 kilometers at sea.
  • TL-10
    TL-10
    The TL-10 or Sky Dragon - 10 is a light anti-ship missile unveiled in the Zhuhai Airshow in 2004 in China, and it is the Chinese equivalent of the French MM-15TT / AS-15TT light anti-ship missile developed by Aérospatiale.-History:The development of the TL program appeared to have started in the...

  • TL-6
    TL-6
    -History:The development of the TL program appeared to have started in the mid-1990s and were originally identified as the FL-8 and FL-9 under China National Aero Technology Import & Export Company...

  • C-704
    C-704
    The C-704 is a Chinese anti-ship missile. The missile was developed by the third research institute of the Chinese Aerospace Group, also the manufacturer of the C-701.-Design:...

  • C-701
    C-701
    The C-701 is a Chinese missile that is roughly comparable to the American AGM-65 A/B/D/H Maverick air-to-surface missile. However, the C-701 is smaller and has less than half the weight of the AGM-65 A/B/D/H Maverick.-Design:...

  • C-801
  • C-802
    C-802
    The Yingji-82 or YJ-82 is a Chinese anti-ship missile first unveiled in 1989 by the China Haiying Electro-Mechanical Technology Academy , also known as the Third Academy...

  • AGM-62 Walleye
    AGM-62 Walleye
    The AGM-62 Walleye is a television-guided glide bomb which was produced by Martin Marietta and used by the United States armed forces during the 1960s. Most had a 250 lb high-explosive warhead, some had a nuclear warhead...

  • AGM-65 Maverick
    AGM-65 Maverick
    The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground tactical missile designed for close-air support. It is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities....

  • AGM-45 Shrike
    AGM-45 Shrike
    AGM-45 Shrike is an American anti-radiation missile designed to home in on hostile antiaircraft radars. The Shrike was developed by the Naval Weapons Center at China Lake in 1963 by mating a seeker head to the rocket body of an AIM-7 Sparrow. It was phased out by U.S...

  • AGM-78 Standard
  • BGM-71 TOW
    BGM-71 TOW
    The BGM-71 TOW is an anti-tank missile. "BGM" is a weapon classification that stands for "Multiple Environment , Surface-Attack , Missile ". "TOW" is an acronym that stands for "Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data link, guided missile"...


Surface-to-Air missiles

  • MIM-23 Hawk
    MIM-23 Hawk
    The Raytheon MIM-23 Hawk is a U.S. medium range surface-to-air missile. The Hawk was initially designed to destroy aircraft and was later adapted to destroy other missiles in flight. The missile entered service in 1960, and a program of extensive upgrades has kept it from becoming obsolete. It was...

  • SM-1
    SM-1
    SM-1 is a 2 MWe nuclear reactor developed for The US Army Nuclear Power Program . It was located at Fort Belvoir, VA, and achieved first criticality in 1957 It was the first US nuclear power plant to be connected to an electrical grid.It was decommissioned in 1973....

  • Tor-M1
  • S-200
  • HQ-2
  • SA-3
  • SA-6
  • HQ-7
    HQ-7
    The HongQi 7 or HQ-7 is a short-range air defense missile. The missile is deployed on both ships and land-based vehicles. China revealed the export version, FM-80, in the 1989 Dubai Aerospace Show...

  • RBS-70
  • SA-7 Grail
  • SA-16 Gimlet
  • SA-18 Grouse
    SA-18 Grouse
    The 9K38 Igla is a Russian/Soviet man-portable infrared homing surface-to-air missile . "9K38" is the Russian GRAU designation of the system...


Spellout, Peace Ruby and Peace Net


These three programs were instituted by the United states, (pre revolution), to improve/upgrade the air-defence system of Iran. As well as air defence radars the network was linked using microwave LOS and troposcatter communications networks.

Major operations

  • Operation Kaman 99
    Operation Kaman 99
    Operation Kaman 99 was an operation launched by the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force in retaliation to Iraqi surprise aerial attacks on Iran the day before which marked the beginning of the 8-year-long Iran–Iraq War.-Prelude:...

    , Iran's biggest air raid during Iran-Iraq war with a strength of more than 200 aircraft.
  • Air attack to Osirak power planet
    Operation Opera
    Operation Babylon was a surprise Israeli air strike carried out on June 7, 1981, that destroyed a nuclear reactor under construction 17 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, Iraq....

    , recognized as the first air attack to a nuclear facility.

External links