Friday, August 9, 2013

Historical weapons at Afif-Abad Military Museum, Shiraz

Photos of historical weapons at Afif-Abad Military Museum (click photos to enlage)

Outdoor exhibit of historical artillery pieces formerly in Iranian military service

Indoor exhibit of military firearms

Glass encased exhibit detail of historical fireamrs

Exhibit of historical black powder pistol

M20 recoilless rifle and 81 mm mortar exhibit

Outdoor exhibit of historical M4 Sherman medium tank

Indoor exhibit of mail, armor, swords and (relaxed) composite bows

Indoor exhibit of historical sabers and scabbards 

Historical structure that's home to the Afif-Abad Military Museum

Photos: Amin Aleshams at


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures.
Where are the F4 and F5's and the Chinese F7's ??

Yossarian said...

Is that M4 Sherman equipped with a 90mm main gun? Or is that a 76mm with some kind of modified muzzle brake?

B.M.A said...

they are still green and in pristine condition-

Anonymous said...

How the hell do you know? Do you know anything about fighter jets? or for that matter the Iranian Air force?
I doubt it when you think an air plane technician is a "scientist" !

Anonymous said...

This just shows the long and illustrious history of Iran military. I recently read a good book on the 3000 years of Persian military power dating back to the pre-Cyrus Caucasian tribes to Persian Empire and then on to present day. Iranians have a warrior martial history with tribes like Bakhtiaris, Zandis and others having a wealth of martial feats. Military culture is well entrenched in the Persian psyche and the military has a lot of respect in Iranian society, particularly after the courageous and unflinching defence of Iran during the jange tahmili.

Anonymous said...

Actually BMA is quite correct, Iran is still flying over 300 US upgraded aircraft that includes the F14A Persian Cat, the F4E/E/RF series, F5E and II series, Hercules C-130, Boeing 707 and 747 tankers and transports, P3 Orion and many others. All are in pristine condition indeed and have had their airframes overhauled for mid-life upgrades. Not to mention the over 500 helicopters including the Iranian versions of AH-IJ Cobra and Isfahan 212/214. Hopefully this will satisfy your peculiar curiosity, if you need more specs I as an engineer can provide you more details from metallurgy to engine refurbishment. Have a great mid-life yourself!

B.M.A said...

ANON August 9 at 10:06 am!- right of reply-

@You have a HELL of a craving of always pouring scorn and cold water on issues that are not correctly presented according to your standard! which is a sign of some 'rich' knowledge on your part.the problem is when you show some peculiar bitterness -now the general thinking is that whatever is displayed in a museum is not in use .It is very strange when you expect everyone to be 'an expert in matters touching on fighter jets!!"

@-matters on the Iranian air force are open to all and sundry!you are only being too generous in showing open your selfishness to your readers .

@-and what about the issue of young scientists in your responses?!.TO YOU what i said is a big deal?!
=NOW TEACH US something -why a technician can not become a scientist and -how scientists have no humble beginnings!

Anonymous said...

The Roman Marcus Crassus was the modern day George W. Bush or the other US warmongering chicken hawks who occasionally push for a swan song war against Iran. He got Rome involved is a suicidal war against the warlike Persians who ruined his Empire. He was looking for Gold to save bankrupt Rome, bankrupt deadbeat US is looking for OIL.

History Lesson: Rome's Failed Invasion of Persia (53 BC) and the End of the Republic 27 BC.

In 53 BC, the Roman proconsul Marcus Licinius Crassus invaded Parthia in search of desperately needed gold to fund Roman military campaigns. The Parthian armies included two types of cavalry, heavily-armed and armoured cataphracts and lightly armed but highly-mobile mounted archers. For the Romans, who relied on heavy infantry, the Parthians were difficult to defeat, as both types of cavalry were much faster and more mobile than foot soldiers. Furthermore, the Parthians used strategies during warfare unfamiliar to the Romans, such as the famous "Parthian shot", firing arrows backwards at the gallop. Persians from their very beginning as the warring tribes of the steppes have been innovators of asymmetrical warfare. There was no known match for the tenacity and speed of Persian cavalry as the Romans marched in cumbersome Phalanx type infantry formations led by heavy armored cavalry units, the Persians just let them advance and then staged constant attrition by hit a run small light cavalry archery units. I guess history does tend to repeat itself.

Parthia (Persia) was led by the Arsacid dynasty (Middle Persian: اشکانیان Ashkâniân), which reunited and ruled over the Iranian plateau, after defeating the Seleucids, beginning in the late 3rd century BC, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between about 150 BC and 224 AD. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east.

Parthia or Persia was an enduring Iranian civilization made-up of Caucasian tribes from the steppes situated in the northeast of modern Iran, but at its height covering all of Iran proper, as well as regions of the modern countries of Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE.

Anonymous said...

It is all very well to be a proud nationalist, but would you also to enlighten us about the lost wars by the Iranians during the Ghajar dynasti. The Moghul invasion of the areas considered Iran (If you are willing to go back almost 2700 years, then you have to accept this as well) The Invasion of Iran during the second world war (Esay defeat) by British and Soviet forces.
So a little bit of honesty in describing One's "glorious past" is a healthy thing.
All nations have had ups and downs, victories and defeats, but to just highlights Iran's / Persia's glorious past victories is not very honest.

Anonymous said...

I do have a problem when you are just regurgitating what other (mostly well informed and well read) about the Iranian Air force say on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Anon. Aug. 10 1:25
Thank you for your response. I would very much like to know more about specs. especially as it is your area of expertise.
Even if you are correct about the numbers of the current number of the fighter jets operated by the Iranian Air Force (I do admit that the Iranian technicians have done a very good job, keeping them flying), I maintain that they do not have a chance against the 4:th and 5:th generation fighter jets of Nato countries. I assume that a potential military conflict would be between the Iranian Air force and the American fighter jets based in the Persian Gulf.
I don't see any reason to go into the details as I have followed your posts here and I know that you are quite familiar with the subjects.
I would like to read your arguments against my assumption tho.
I wish you a very great midlife too.

Anonymous said...

Azizam, my point was to illustrate the similarity between the current Iranian asymmetrical warfare capabilities and the constant idiotic threats emanating from US and its Zionist mutt about "attacking Iran" without thinking about our history, size, military past and above all Persian nationalism. I would be the last person to "hide" Iranian military defeats, you have omitted the defeat to the Arabs which had the most profound impact on Iran as it converted to Islam. The second most devastating defeat was at the hands of the Mongols.

As I mentioned in the other post, I have just finished reading Persia at War, and according to most reliable historians, Iranians have fought with foreign states over 1080 wars since when the Medes ruled Iran in the 2nd millennium BC as an amalgamation of Caucasian tribes.

Iran's last, very destructive and one of the longest wars was the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and hopefully we will never have to fight another again.

Some of these wars like the defeat at the hands of Alexander and his Macedonians, the Arabs and the Mongols have contributed largely to the backwardness of Iran and identity crises on many occasions in the last 5000 years.

The Iranian historical penchant for internal divisiveness and treachery and regular ousting or killing kings or rulers from Dariush to Pahlavis are among the other main factors responsible for national regression and weakness and providing opportunity for other powers to aggress against Iran.

According to historical records, 182 kings out of the 417 kings that ruled Iran over the past 3000 years ago have been killed or expelled.

However, despite these setbacks Iran has retained his size, culture and influence. Even today, Iran has is at loggerheads with the world's strongest power US and still unwilling to bow. It has been Iranian nature to challenge the status quo and take on the biggest kid on the block. It is the Zoorkhaneh mentality. That is why Shiaism was developed and the eternal attraction for the underdog and martyrdom. Iran has also produced military genius like Nader Shah who defeated the Moghuls capturing all of India, that you mention and brought home the Takth e Tavus (taous).

Iran has a proud military history and has mostly suffered from internal divisions or corruption when foreigners from Macedonians (misnomer for Greeks), Arabs, Mongols, Turks, British, Russians and now Americans take advantage of. If Iran is to rise to its true potential as a real power, Iranians have to move past pettiness and look at our glorious past. It is a matter of great human pride to be heirs of such a rich and illustrious civilization that is still regarded as one of the greatest and most civilized.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your kind wishes. My point is not to exaggerate Iran's capabilities but to give a realistic appraisal, rather than some of the usual anti-Iran rants by some that neither help intellectual discourse or promote an understanding of Iranian technical/military capabilities.

As is open knowledge, Iran under the Shah was aiming to become the strongest and technologically most advanced power in the region, if not amongst the world's top ten. This may have contributed to his downfall as the usual status quo powers don't like challenges, particularly from Muslim states.

You are correct, IRIAF does not stand a real chance against USAF, but keep in mind the overall strategic equation. Once a war is initiated, the consequences are hard to predict or manage, specially against a large power like Iran with over 80 million people, a huge mountainous landmass and immense natural wealth and a highly nationalistic educated population. Let's say hypothetically or suicidally the US or the Zionist pip-squeaks "bomb Iran", WHAT THEN? Such an idiotic war simply would not be contained and considering the current mess in the Arab world , will simply go viral, not to mention the economic fallout.

On your question about IRIAF's technical capabilities, they are perhaps the best in the region, however, the latest Iranian aircraft is the 3rd or 4th generation MIG29 and in limited numbers. The Russians under the drunkard Yelstin yielded to US/Zionist pressure and sold Iran very basic models in very small numbers. Iran has had to upgrade them with its meager resources and access to weapons systems or avionics. They have tried to bring them up to SMT standards with help from some allies. The overall numbers are small and the MIG requires a lot of manhours to maintain and is not very fuel efficient or has adequate range for IRIAF requirements. At best, it will be used as a point defence CAP fighter. The small numbers of Persian Cats are left for interception duties and that is not a very satisfactory situation.

Iran’s military, even today is quite robust has 545,000 active personnel and some of relatively advanced military technology of anyone out there in the neighborhood from missiles to ELINT. The thing is, the United States sold Iran very large numbers of aircraft including 79 F-14A (the most advanced aircraft of its generation), 244 F4E/D/F/RF variants, over 180 F5E and II, another 30 were bought from Vietnam and Ethiopia to replenish war losses, and then there are the helicopters and transports that I have mentioned above. So in other words, even today there are lots of them, but they are aging and without original manufacturers support or spares. Iran almost recovered its quantitative war losses by the defection of almost 120 Iraqi aircraft, which besides the 24 Mirage F1EQ were older Russian SU 20/22 and some MIG 29,and the rest were junk. Iran was the unwelcoming host to 40 SU-20/22 but never incorporated these unstable platforms into either the IRIAF or IRGCAF. So in reality, Iran lost the qualitative edge in the 1990's as the Persian Gulf puppet states started buying large numbers of F-16.

Granted,the inventory is old and outdated to some point, it was the most modern that Iran under the Shah stocked up on and some of the hottest tech of the time. The most amazing development is that Iran due to necessity( mother of all invention indeed) has developed a pretty good military industrial complex to maintain, and upgrade military resources.

Over the years, by trial and error Iranians have gotten pretty good at it.

IRIAF, thanks to the skills of its technicians and engineers has done a very good job in keeping around 300 mixed bag aircraft from MIG, Mirages, Phantoms, F-5E, Sukhois 24/25 and above all the complex F14A Persian Cat (literally Persian since no one else flies it today) airworthy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. I do agree with everything that you have wrote.
I believe that, Iran would have been attacked a long time ago by the Americans, had it not developed the indigenous military capability (including the very successful strategy of asymmetric warfare) and most importantly the development of the missiles that have certainly made the Americans think more than twice to attack it.
I would have liked to read more about your assessment (As an engineer) of the upgrade of these old airframes and what the Iranians have made to maintain them, particularly from the metallurgical point of view.
My assumption is that there is not much you can do, when it comes to natural fatigue of these almost 40 years old airframes (but I have to admit, I do not know anything about the subject)
Finally (I might be wrong, but I go by the style of your prose)I think this the first time we are having an intellectual debate without using expressions like "hasbara" etc.. and I thank you for that. I have been guilty of using some expressions in the heat of the moment as well. My apologies for that.
I will be looking forward to read your posts even in the future (with / without "Hasbara" :) in them.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Points taken, thank you for taking time to answer to my post.

TLAM_Strike said...

It is actually an M36B1 Gun Motor Carriage a type of Tank Destroyer. It is an M4A3 Sherman chassis with an M36 Turret with an M3 90mm gun.

Some call this vehicle the "Jackson" or "Slugger" but that name was an invention of model companies many years ago.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousAugust 10, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Well said,excellent post

Anonymous said...

Just a short explanation of metal fatigue on military jets. An aircraft's lifespan is measured not in years but in pressurization cycles, or in plain English, exposure to high velocity winds, temperature changes and elements. Each time an aircraft, specially exceeding Mach 1 (speed of sound or supersonic) is subject to high pressure, gravitation forces (G)and vibrations during flight, its fuselage and wings are stressed. Both are made of large, plate-like parts connected with fasteners and rivets, and over time, cracks develop around the fastener holes due to metal fatigue.

US and European manufacturers have very high quality per-production metallurgy called Nondestructive evaluation (NDE) inspections are used both during production (to ensure that components start out free of defects) and during an aircraft's service life to detect cracks as small as 0.04 inch. Inspectors might, for example, take a close look at fastener holes located at the wing and spar junction.

One commonly used method of NDE is ultrasonic phased-array testing, which analyzes the echoes from ultrasonic waves to reveal imperfections inside a material. By using several ultrasonic beams instead of just one, then varying the time delays between the beams, inspectors can look inside a material at different locations and depths, thereby determining the size and shape of any defects. High spectrum X-rays are also used to detect hairline or "invisible" fractures or fissures.

At present, million-dollar robotic inspection systems equipped with phased arrays are being used to inspect wings and composite fuselages for large commercial aircraft and jetfighters before they fly. Most aircraft manufacturers and service providers—Dassault Aviation, Airbus, and Boeing, for instance—ensure the quality of their production with large-scale non-destructive testing systems.

Most supersonic fighters have early signs of metal fatigue within 10-15 years and about 10,000 plus flying hours, depending on their flying environment. Then there is the question of engine burnout due to heavy use in combat conditions. IRIAF planes have been subjected to a lot of punishment during the 8 year war and without factory spares or even log books. The F-14A for instance were on point duty CAP for almost 8 hours a day sometimes (with aerial refueling) at strategic points like Kharg, oil platforms and even over Tehran during the war of the cities. All of this adds to the metal and engine fatigue. The same situation with F5E (the workhorse of IRIAF) and the venerable F4. The F-4s took the heaviest punishment as they are multi-role and had the range and weapons load to attack deep-strike Iraqi bases like H2 and H3 on the Jordanian border. Then facing intense AAA and SAMS, even shrapnel at high speeds can ruin the plane and your day. However, Iranian technicians became experts in patching off or replacing whole sections of metals within a very short time. Some of the patch-ups in the war days were crude but now the equipment and engineering skills are world class. Sharif and Malek Ashtar university for instance have produced some very qualified engineers. Iran now uses and lot of alloys and reinforced engineered ceremics in replating and structural reinforcement jobs.

Iran has invested wisely in developing an indigenous aircraft industry and even assembling regional turbo-props like the IR-140 based on the Antonov design and a medium sized regional jet is also in the works. The tweaking of the F-5 into various Saeqeh versions including the twin tailed also helped in understanding design, aerodynamics and metallurgy. Iran purchased 50 Russian Klimov RD 33 engines for testing various fuselages and designs. BTW, even China still can not produce a jet engine and has to import or copy Russian engines.

Yossarian said...

Thanks. The actually makes really good sense. "Tank Destroyer" totally slipped my mind for some reason.