Those photos look like the aircraft are actually carrying their payload of munitions. Is that normal for a dog and pony show?
Joseph, those planes are not carrying any type of munition. What they're carrying is their Drop Tanks.
My zero years of service in the Air Force are now obvious to all.By drop tanks - I presume that means fuel tanks that they jettison after they are emptied?
Yeah... But I doubt they do jettison them in Iran these days as they are some sort of expensive commodity for the IRIAF. ;-)
Iran is a very large country and most US aircraft like the F5 and F4-E shown in the photos have a limited flight range. IRIAF also uses in-flight aerial refueling for most of its deep strike aircraft. The 500 gallon drop tanks as seen in the photos are Iranian manufactured, however, the pilots are trained not to jettison them (or punch the stores) unless in combat over sparsely populated area. The IRAIF is a battle tested and highly skilled airfore with some of the best pilots in the world with a air to air combat kill ratio of 6:1The very fact that Iran has been able to keep over 300 US manufactured aircraft in pristine condition since 1979 US embargo and manufacture all spares speaks volumes about the capability of Iranian engineers and manufacturing plants.
When will Shafaq fly??????
The two-seat F-5s are F-5F Tiger IIs. They are recognisable by the shape of their noses.
Anon 8:41 - yes, the Iranian crews keeping the US-manufactured F4s and F5s in service are very good, but the Iranian pilots have not flown against any well-trained pilots and are very far from "some of the best in the world' as they do not fly all that much as compared to pilots in the better equipped and more modern air forces.
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