Iran transfers 88 Russian Sukhoi fighter planes to Iraq

Russian Sukhoi fighter planes to Iraq
Iran transfers 88 Russian Sukhoi fighter planes to Iraq. The planes were held in Iranian custody for over 20 years. File photo.

Dhi Qar ( 88 Russian Sukhoi fighter planes arrived at the Imam Ali military base in Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar. Today a security source said that the base of the Imam Ali (AS) received 88 Russian Sukhoi multi-brands, which were held by the Republic of Iran for more than 20 years.

The source, who preferred not to be named, indicated that “these aircraft will be equipped with sophisticated weapons; they will take part in the fighting against the terrorist elements of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant.”


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  1. These Russian planes require a high level of maintenance. They require a lot of spare parts and are not very useful in a sandy,dry climate like Iraq. Who is going to maintain these planes and who is going to supply the parts? Iran does not manufacture parts for these planes as far as I know. Russia does not currently supply parts, so unless Iran sent a lot of spare parts and maintenance manuals, these planes are pretty much worthless.

  2. In case there’s confusion about these planes
    These planes all belong to Iraq. During first US war against Iraq in 1991 blood thirsty crazy stupid dictator, the Iraqi Air Force in order to save its planes from certain destruction by American bombing, flew these people planes to Iran. Iran held onto them as part of reparation claims of Saddam genocidal 8 year war. At that time Iran was under American embargo – which still is – and they thought they could use them. But Russia in submitting to American wishes refused to provide spare parts and weapons and instruction etc for them. So they sat uselessly in Iran.
    After 2003 US/UK occupation of Iraq, American masters wanted Iraqi Army to be equipped with the US junk obsolete with their materiel. Iranian relations with Iraq now excellent they offered to send them back but American forbade their puppets like Iyad Allawi to take them.
    The most important part of any modern Army is the Air Force. Like the very first thing the US does in any war is to establish air superiority. For this reason to this day they have refused vehemently to allow Iraq have ANY air force even with their own obsolete planes. All Iraq has today are a few symbolic old planes just for show.
    Otherwise it’s very easy to destroy a bunch of pick up trucks on the open desert. Iraq is not Afghanistan a mountainous country with steep peaks and zillion of caves.
    Back to the Russian planes . If she wants refurbishing them take a week. The important thing is pilot retraining. But since they don’t need to practice complex maneuvers and they are not that difficult to operate perhaps for this emergency situation pilots can become airborne in another week. So if there’s will and no more treason and US and Allawi meddling and with Russian emergency cooperation these birds can be up in the air and beating the hell out of these US trained and Saudi/Qatai financed liver eating cannibals.

  3. Erwin, stop BS us. Russia has all climate variations in the word. secondly.. the middle east always had only Russian militarry exvipment… thats why US buying Russians helicopters in the Afganistan..

  4. Continuing with my above comment
    …it would take two weeks to get them into combat.
    People must understand the enormity of this news. If Iraq were to place an order for 88 fighter /bomber planes today it would take 3 to 5 years if not longer for it to be delivered. ( Remember for 35 fighters Brazil was in just the negotiations stage for ten years )
    Now the only leverage the US has that it wants to again own Iraq and dictate everything is the intention – just intention to send maybe a dozen (nobody knows the numbers or any specifics ) planes or maybe just drones and no piloted aircraft… and that God knows when.
    Iranian government for its own gains (don’t think otherwise ) helped Iraqi nation to prevent its recolonization’ by the US /UK.
    I truly see this as God’s blessings upon Iraqi nation to send these 88 birds which is far far more than the US was dangling with its price being the recolonization’. And people don’t forget – these aircraft belong to Iraq. Iran didn’t give them out of its arsenal. Iran held these Iraqi owned planes in storage waiting for a government to disobey the US and and ask for it back.
    (there is a saying that sometimes God works in mysterious ways. Here’s one example before our eyes ) At a time when each fighter bomber was worth 100 times its price for Iraq, the Creator said Here it is. 88 of them. All free and all their ownership papers in your name since they left the factory. Wow!

    • BK, thanks for the commentary, but you are a bit incorrect, “And people don’t forget – these aircraft belong to Iraq. Iran didn’t give them out of its arsenal.” as you stated, is exactly out of IRI’s arsenal. A) you stated they held title for 20 years B) they were flown to Iran voluntarily as reparations which means the full ownership was transferred willingly to the IRI and there was not stipulation of return. Do not diminish the relevance and brotherhood of such a momentous gesture whose value can be counted in the billions as there will probably be expertise and munitions as part of the deal.

  5. inshallah jaroor hum kamyaab honge…………….aur yeh harami isil tabah hojayenge………….inpar allah ka kahar barpega……………..aur yeh khud hi nestanaboot ho jayenge

  6. One strange disparity: The plane pictured is a MIG-21…not an SU — while the MiG is an old, well-proven platform, it is not optimal for any sort of ground-attack mission.

    I’m hoping the picture is incorrect? And when I think on it, if the planes aren’t SU-25’s…then the 88 of whatever they are most likely won’t be optimal as well. Also, speaking as an aircrew member, 20+ years a *a very long time* to keep a plane in storage/ready to go. Compound this with a lack of familiarity, a lack of training, and the wrong plane for the right mission, “Flying Coffin” might be a complimentary phrase in all this.

    What would work best, methinks, would be MI-28’s or MI-24’s – fast attack helicopters…much better for urban environment, reducing the rid of fratricide, too.

  7. @-osgo-
    Yes, the Su-25s are the best possible scenario, although Su-17 variants would also come in handy.

  8. Am a Sunni but am not going to be used by the American Qatari and Turkey. Al maliki just issue 24 hours notice all Americans out. Russiians and Iran in and sell all your oil to China. What worse would. Happen anyways……see. asad managed. …. Al sisi did it by throwing the qatary n Turkey…out. well done Russia. This America. Has been roaming around dictating n stealing…..

  9. 88 planes if far more than Iran ever received from Iraq. This can only mean a Russian/Belarus sale of SU 25 ground support aircraft in violation of international sanctions on Iran. The US is looking the other way.

  10. Iraq always claimed that more than 120 of its planes had flown to Iran to escape destruction, while Iran always claimed a way lower number of 20 odd planes.
    So it is well within the realms of possibility that these planes were all simply Iraqi planes being returned and not some part of a conspiracy of “US looking the other way”, after all, Iraq has already imported some old planes from Belarus and could do same again.
    Personally, I think it is time for Russia to resume unlimited arms sales to Iraq. The supply of about 600 SU35s to Iran should help even out the balance of power in the area.

  11. you should know that the Iraq is still debtor to Iran because of that jinx 8 year war and bombing the defenseless Iranian cities but today is the brotherhood day and Iran will help Iraq.

  12. As an aircraft engineer the one thing I can say about soviet designed aircraft is that they were the most robust aircraft ever produced. Contrary to some comments above the SU 25s are more than capable of operating in a desert climate and for that matter an arctic one. They were designed as were many soviet aircraft as a multi role machine, troop support, tank busters and even fighter bombers. They need very little maintenance and any half decent pilot would master this sturdy and capable machine within a few days. The Sukhoi’s might best be describes as flying VW’s nothing too-fancy just practical and reliable.

  13. You forget f313 and shafaq ,,Muslim Iran not depend on christian country for manufacture fighter jets ,,understand devil follower

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