Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Statement of Iran aircraft being returned to Iraq, rumors of IRIAF ground attack training

Above: IRIAF Sukhoi Su-24MK of a type IqAF escaped to Iran during the Persian Gulf War

According to Middle East Monitor:
A spokesman for the Office of the Adjutant General of the Iraqi armed forces has said that his country has returned 130 military aircraft to Iraq, which were held in Iran for more than 20 years. General Qassim Atta explained in a televised press statement that the Iranian authorities have equipped the aircraft with "sophisticated weapons".
"The planes," said Atta, "will participate in the battles against ISIS to liberate the city of Mosul from its control."
Iraq transferred an undisclosed number of fighter and civilian jets to Iran just before the US-led coalition forces launched air strikes in 1991 following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Groups of Sunni Arabs, led by ISIS, control a number of Iraqi cities in the north, east and west of the country. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has described those groups as "extremist terrorists". Sunni figures, however, claim that what is happening is a Sunni tribal revolt against the discriminatory policies pursued by the Shiite government of Al-Maliki.
Commentary: Rumors of late have have been swirling of Iraqi and Iranian defense officials during the past few days conducting talks in Baghdad, with Iraq requesting Iran provide close air support (CAS) missions in the war against ISIL/allies, and even that Iran return Iraqi combat aircraft flown to sancturary in Iran during the Persian Gulf War.

There are also indications that IRIAF aircraft have recently been engaging in observable, frequent  ground attack training missions, including assemblage of all available MiG-29 types at Tabriz / Shahid Fakouri TAB 2, practicing in the attack role with air-lauched munitions.

Additionally, there are rumors of IRIAF Su-24 MK attack aircraft of 72nd TFS making frequent training missions equiped with B series rocket pods firing S-8 type rockets, and dropping FAB type bombs. Primary onjective of training is said related to IRIAF exercise slated for September 2014, with secondary objective in readiness to counter potential ISIL incursion into Iranian territory.

It appears the Baghdad govenrment is signalling closer military ties with Iran given any apparent American reluctance for direct military intervention in the CAS role. That said, it must now be admiited that future reflagging of IRIAF combat aviation assets with IqAF markings engaging in combat missions over Iraq can no longer be entirely discounted.


Anonymous said...

Erm..... really! That really proves Iranian generosity.
I think Iran didn't need that 130 air craft anyway; since on top Iran's 153 battle aircraft inventory apparently it has thousands of super duper super-stealth F-313.
The question is who is gonna fly them in Iraq and what if they loose their airports?

Brig. Gen. Basrawi (IQAF. ret) said...

Su-20 is generally a better choice if the idea is to make use of un-guided munitions. It is lighter and thus more agile. It has longer range, stronger acceleration and more powerful guns.

Su-24s would be of more use if they were advanced versions. The ones in question are export versions, though they may have recieved newer electronics and additional targeting systems, which could then allow for the firing of precision-guided munitions and TV/Laser guided missiles and bombs. In that case the Su-24's importance would supersede that of the Su-20.

Then there is the Su-22M4 (Iran recieved some from us in 91), in my opinion, a better aircraft than any Su-24 version available for export.

Brig. Gen. Basrawi (IQAF. ret) said...

Obviously they would have to be manned by Iranian pilots. Hence the increase in training.