Military Review

Air Force and Aerospace Forces of Iran. Development problems

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F-4 fighters are among the oldest aircraft of the Iranian Air Force. Photo Mehrnews.com


The Islamic Republic of Iran has a distinctive military structure. At the same time, the Army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps serve with different functions and tasks. At the same time, both structures have all the necessary types of troops and types of armed forces. Thus, the Air Force of the Army and the aerospace forces of the IRGC are simultaneously responsible for protecting the country's airspace and attacking enemy targets.

Features of the structure


The Iranian Air Force from the Army as a whole corresponds to the traditional understanding of the role and tasks of this type of armed forces. They unite airbases, various formations and subunits, as well as various auxiliary structures. The task of the Air Force is to protect the country's airspace, monitor the situation in strategically important areas near Iran, conduct hostilities, etc. It should be noted that the Air Force is equipped with only aviation equipment and only the operational-tactical level. The number of personnel is 18 thousand people.


The F-14 aircraft are another example of lean technology. Photo Wikimedia Commons

AKS IRGC is distinguished by a range of tasks to be solved and, accordingly, a more complex structure. They include combat and auxiliary aviation formations and air defense units. In addition, it is the aerospace forces that are responsible for the operation and use of strategic missile weapons. The AKC serves approx. 15 thousand people

Such a division of the air force is directly related to the specifics of military construction in Iran. At the same time, it is believed that such a structure allows combat units for various purposes to solve all assigned tasks, from transporting goods and training personnel to striking with aerial bombs or ballistic missiles.

Air Force Composition


Several commands are subordinate to the Air Force headquarters: aviation, training, rear and communications. Forces formations are divided between four operational zones on a geographical basis: "North", "Center", "South" and "East". Bases and squadrons are divided between operational zones according to their size and responsibilities.

Air Force and Aerospace Forces of Iran. Development problems
Iranian fighters and tanker. Photo Tasnimnews.com

The air command is subordinate to the bases to which various squadrons are assigned. Depending on the composition of the units, the bases are divided into fighter (9 units), mixed / joint (3 units), and separate transport (2 units). 32 combat squadrons and dozens of auxiliary units are serving on them.

The Air Force and the AKS have a developed network of airfields. In addition to 14 active bases, more than two dozen reserve bases are used. They can be used for the operational deployment of aviation, the delivery of goods in the interests of the ground forces, etc.

The Air Force has more than 300 combat aircraft of various types. A characteristic feature of the park is the presence of only imported equipment, mostly of a large age, obtained even before the revolution. F-5 training and combat aircraft, as well as American-made F-4 and F-14 fighters are still in service. A significant share of the fleet is made up of Soviet / Russian-made MiG-29 and Su-24 aircraft. Anti-submarine aviation is represented by imported P-3.


IL-76. The Air Force and the AKS have such aircraft. Photo Wikimedia Commons

There is a fairly large military transport aviation - more than 110 units, represented by aircraft of all classes, up to the heavy Il-76 and C-130. Helicopters are represented only by transport vehicles in the amount of approx. 30 units There are no attack helicopters.

Aerospace Forces


The AKS of the IRGC includes several commands for different purposes - missile, aviation, air defense command, training, as well as communications and logistics commands. Such a structure is associated with a wider range of tasks to be solved and serious differences in the equipment in service.

The AKS missile forces include 6 missile brigades armed with operational-tactical complexes, as well as short and medium-range systems. It is reported that there are up to 100 short-range complexes and up to 50 medium-range systems. In recent years, land-based cruise missiles have entered service.


SAM "Khordad 3" at the parade. Photo Mehrnews.com

AKS IRGC includes 6 air bases and 8 mixed air groups. Combat aviation is represented by several squadrons using relatively old technology. The rest of the fleet includes training and transport aircraft, as well as transport and combat helicopters. In terms of the total number of equipment and types of vehicles, the AKS aviation is similar to the Air Force. In this case, there is only approx. 50 combat and approx. 20 combat training aircraft.

The Aerospace Forces have their own mixed air defense forces. They are capable of solving the tasks of object and military air defense, complementing similar units from the Army. In this case, one of the main tasks is to cover the strategic missile forces.

In service are radar stations of different classes, up to the strategic over-the-horizon radar "Gadir". A radar field has been created, covering most of the country's borders and surrounding areas.


AKS launches a Fateh-110 rocket. Photo Ypa.ir

To combat air targets, towed and self-propelled artillery mounts of several types with small-caliber guns are used. A group of short and medium-range anti-aircraft missile systems has also been created. Some of the air defense systems were purchased abroad, incl. in our country (ZSU-23-4, "Kvadrat", "Tor-M1", etc.). Others are developed and released independently.

Development problems


The division of military aviation, strategic missile forces and air defense forces between the two structures of the Army and the Guard Corps generally suits the command of the Iranian armed forces. This structure has been preserved for many years, and there are no plans to rebuild it. Only individual parts and subdivisions are subject to some changes in the order of optimization.

The development of the Air Force fleet over the past few decades has been carried out only through self-repair and modernization of existing vehicles. Despite all efforts, its own production of combat and auxiliary aircraft and helicopters is still absent, and the purchase of equipment abroad is becoming impossible. Also, work is underway to create aircraft weapons - copies of foreign samples, their development and completely own developments.


The Khorramsher missile system at the parade. Photo Tasnimnews.com

AKC IRGC is developing more actively, but these processes are uneven. The aviation component of these forces, like the Air Force, cannot boast of modern models. At the same time, the development and strengthening of the strategic missile forces has a high priority. The results of such processes are well known - and cause concern for neighboring countries. In addition, measures are being taken to create and improve air defense systems of various levels.

In general, the state of Iran's air and aerospace forces cannot be called ideal. There are serious problems with the age and condition of the main part of the equipment, and there are no opportunities for a comprehensive radical modernization. Nevertheless, all possible measures are being taken to maintain the state of the troops and ensure maximum combat effectiveness. Thanks to this, the Air Force and the AKS continue to serve, provide national security and deter potential adversaries.
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  1. rocket757
    rocket757 30 November 2020 18: 10
    +1
    The question of quality, efficiency of what is in service ...
    1. Borik
      Borik 30 November 2020 18: 42
      -2
      Something else of this technique is quite applicable to the requirement of the Middle East region. True, something else must be bribed, something must be replaced with new types of weapons. So Russia needs to hurry up and offer Iran what they need from weapons.
      1. rocket757
        rocket757 30 November 2020 18: 45
        +2
        The question, of course, is interesting ... so it can be simple, business, nothing more.
  2. Tsoy
    Tsoy 30 November 2020 18: 27
    +3
    I think the article came out for a reason and everyone has one question in their heads. Will it start?

    Trump may well put a rake on the receiver and slam the door before leaving. Israel has a couple of months left to make a decision by force because Biden intends to return to negotiations.
    And the division and duplication of responsibilities can play a cruel joke in the loss of decision-making centers. When the command is destroyed, there will be confusion with subordination.
    1. Antifreeze
      Antifreeze 30 November 2020 19: 09
      +15
      Quote: Choi
      I think the article came out for a reason and everyone has one question in their heads. Will it start?

      The topic is relevant today, so articles on this topic are coming out
    2. Mirabo
      Mirabo 30 November 2020 19: 12
      +2
      Trump is not an emperor - he cannot slam the door on his own, if he wants to.
    3. A. Privalov
      A. Privalov 30 November 2020 19: 15
      +4
      Quote: Choi
      I think the article came out for a reason and everyone has one question in their heads. Will it start?

      I remember the old joke:

      - Rabinovich, how is your health?
      - Don't wait!

      hi
      1. DED_peer_DED
        DED_peer_DED 18 February 2021 14: 29
        0
        Quote: A. Privalov
        - Rabinovich, how is your health?
        - Don't wait!

        Have all the building materials been collected for the main temple in Jerusalem?
  3. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart 30 November 2020 18: 33
    +4
    For what they have enough money they do. Of course, you won't envy the regionchik there. In fact, what Iran is doing is somewhat like a much more budgetary variation of what we are doing - a kind of economical military strategy that combines a rich air defense on the one hand and the possibility of a sufficient missile strike with theoretically unacceptable damage on the other. And if we have enough money and a backlog for aviation-tanks-nuclear submarines, then in the case of Iran the backlog is much more modest, as well as with funds - because of long-term isolation and much worse with liquid resources.
  4. Siberian 66
    Siberian 66 30 November 2020 18: 41
    +7
    Keeping these relics in flight does not mean that their performance characteristics meet the requirements of the time and the intended tasks of countering well-defined opponents. So the Iranian Air Force in their current state will be destroyed very quickly and painlessly.
  5. lopuhan2006
    lopuhan2006 30 November 2020 19: 13
    0
    See Azerbaijan vs. Armenia. Technology will allow drones and aircraft to wreak havoc without a response. The next coalition has enough resources to roll Iran back 30 years. And there the internal policy can change
    1. URAL72
      URAL72 30 November 2020 20: 00
      0
      Damage unanswered? That is unlikely. Iran is capable of destroying the entire oil infrastructure of the Gulf with missiles, including oil refineries, terminals, etc. Few?
      1. lopuhan2006
        lopuhan2006 30 November 2020 21: 38
        +2
        You cannot see beyond your fence. These missiles will not reach the final beneficiary. And those on whom they fall have no value. So your bravura tone is out of place here. And if you look at the recent wars in this region, then when the spirit falls, the Arabs run ahead of their pickup. The IRGC alone cannot win the war.
        1. URAL72
          URAL72 1 December 2020 14: 07
          -1
          Well, you really are a moron. Suicide attacks even by Iranian militias against Iraq are well known. Saudi air defense is not a problem even for the Houthis. There is no impenetrable air defense during a massive strike with the support of aviation at low altitudes and hundreds of boats. Iran can bite painfully, so it is still intact. And is it not necessary to strike at the aggressor's allies, because one way or another they are also involved.
          1. lopuhan2006
            lopuhan2006 1 December 2020 14: 24
            -3
            Unfortunately, you are sooo shortsighted (stupid) and think (if you do it at all) superficially. CAPSOM: IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MUCH ARRIVAL OF ROCKETS AROUND THE SAUDITS, ISRAEL, etc. FOR THE BUCHU DO NOT THEY DO !!!! HOW DIFFICULT FOR YOU!)
            1. URAL72
              URAL72 1 December 2020 14: 45
              -1
              This is difficult for you: if the Saudis, emirs, etc. understand that they are threatened with billions of dollars in losses, they will not allow war. It will also fly to US bases, but the main thing is economic damage. Russia will mainly benefit from the rise in oil and gas prices. A country subjected to aggression has the right to help and sanctions do not care, our military-industrial complex will be happy. China will also say its I, even India and Turkey, being consumers of Iranian oil and gas, will not remain silent. Iraq will be a surprise too. The UN may not survive. Does America need it? Israel, yes. Dig deeper, and do not think that the result of the war is losses in technology. This is not the case for a long time.
              1. lopuhan2006
                lopuhan2006 1 December 2020 17: 23
                +1
                So dig it yourself) Well, it's that simple. I did not say ANYTHING about the loss in technology. How difficult it is to explain simple things! Those countries, people, the equipment through which a response from Iran arrives do not matter, for those who decide to light another fire. Accordingly, if they decide to ignite, then they will ignite. The only thing stopping them (the person below wrote) is the dirty bombs from Iran. And just as the difficulty of calculating the consequences. And you are there about some little things like Iraq, losses, our interests, and even Turkey became funny)
              2. Siberian54
                Siberian54 21 February 2021 18: 24
                0
                It is the question of the PRC and IR that does not allow attacking the last gas province besides the Russian Federation, which is not fully controlled by the United States.
        2. NEOZ
          NEOZ 1 December 2020 15: 25
          0
          Quote: lopuhan2006
          ear Arabs run ahead of their pickup truck.

          and the Persians are not Arabs!
          1. lopuhan2006
            lopuhan2006 1 December 2020 17: 29
            0
            Then you have to list all the local Babylon)))
      2. Avior
        Avior 30 November 2020 23: 59
        +6
        All this was said and written about Iraq at one time. Wow, how it will embed, it will not seem a little!
      3. NEOZ
        NEOZ 1 December 2020 15: 49
        0
        Quote: URAL72
        Iran is capable of destroying the entire oil infrastructure of the Gulf with missiles, including oil refineries, terminals, etc. Few?

        and what?
        I don't see the logic, Iran is at war with the United States, but will the SA infrastructure be bombed? so that the United States sell its shale dearly?
  6. Benjamin Gnomes
    Benjamin Gnomes 30 November 2020 19: 18
    -10%
    You know, Iranians, why don't you have good pilots?
    Because your donkeys can't fly)
    1. EvilLion
      EvilLion 1 December 2020 09: 40
      -1
      Unlike Tom "Top Ghana" Cruz, this handsome man https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zandiy_Jalil actually fought on the F-14 and claims 11 shot down.
  7. Dmitry Makarov
    Dmitry Makarov 30 November 2020 20: 27
    0
    Yesterday, Azerbaijan was a herd of shepherds and market traders for the whole world.
    And today, in a fleeting, high-tech and selfless Battle, the Azerbaijanis in just 3 weeks defeated the Army of the warlike Armenians who had been bending the Transcaucasia for centuries.
    Everything in the World is changing, and especially in our - Our Time!
    And perhaps tomorrow the world will see a new Iran - and the prerequisites for this, it has more than enough.
    1. cat Rusich
      cat Rusich 30 November 2020 21: 07
      +3
      Quote: Dmitry Makarov
      Yesterday, Azerbaijan was a herd of shepherds and market traders for the whole world.
      Azerbaijan produced 2019 million tons of oil in 38,1. And don't forget Turkish instructors and military adviserswho participated in the planning and direct leadership of the military operation.
      Quote: Dmitry Makarov

      And perhaps tomorrow the world will see a new Iran - and the prerequisites for this, it has more than enough.
      Iran extracts oil and gas, but who will supply modern technology and train it to use in a single bundle... Maybe China? (quite possible - in spite of USA).
      1. noname1117
        noname1117 30 November 2020 21: 21
        +1
        And that's not the point. It is foolish to live in the 21st century with ideas about the "belligerence" of nations, about some kind of "warriors" and "donkeys". The era of training and fighting spirit is over, the era of "drone makes pew-pew" begins
        1. EvilLion
          EvilLion 1 December 2020 09: 46
          -2
          First, has Khmeinim already been bombed? Or drones, both intercepted in their entirety and in the form of wreckage in the museum there?
          Secondly, the war of robots among themselves can go on for a long time, and no one cares about broken iron, so any robots and remotely controlled machines will ultimately be directed against people.
    2. EvilLion
      EvilLion 1 December 2020 09: 44
      -4
      When the USSR could not defeat Germany, which had just carried out the French army, which was considered the strongest in Europe in a month, it was Stalin and the Bolsheviks that were stupid, and when oil-rich Azerbaijan defeated the Karabakh militia, which could not even dig trenches, and the Armenian army, moreover, that the population of Armenia is 3 million in total, it did not even come to the war, then Azerbaijan is a new power, and the "Bayraktars" are the lightning of Zeus.
    3. NEOZ
      NEOZ 1 December 2020 15: 31
      0
      Quote: Dmitry Makarov
      Azerbaijan was a herd of shepherds and market traders for the whole world

      nothing changes in this world ...
      Quote: Dmitry Makarov
      in a fleeting, high-tech and selfless Battle,

      what a good-looking word gavarish !!!!!
      Quote: Dmitry Makarov
      The world will see a new Iran - and the preconditions for this, it has more than enough.

      I don’t see them, please voice the background
      ps
      do not exaggerate the power of Azerbaijanis ...
    4. Siberian54
      Siberian54 21 February 2021 18: 26
      0
      The blogger-president simply gave up his position for the sake of those who paid for media support for his coming to power. Do not forget that Turkey is a NATO member and its generals were trained by the Pentagon.
  8. The comment was deleted.
  9. KCA
    KCA 30 November 2020 21: 43
    -3
    Do Israel and the United States really believe in the humanism of an Islamic state that they dare to attack? Or they do not know that when uranium is processed into weapons-grade and plutonium, and just during nuclear decay, a large number of radioactive isotopes are formed, cobalt 60 and iodine 131 are the most fun warheads ", in the event of the threat of the complete destruction of Iran, who will guarantee that the government, the Ayatollah, or simply a hundred fanatics will not send the accumulated good to the IRBM in Israel? And then the Jews will not walk in the desert for 40 years, but for 40 years, at least, or forever, until the end of the world
    1. lopuhan2006
      lopuhan2006 1 December 2020 14: 27
      0
      This is what stops them from hitting them. While.....
  10. faiver
    faiver 30 November 2020 22: 45
    +3
    A small article under this name ...
  11. Pavel57
    Pavel57 1 December 2020 00: 06
    +2
    SAM "Khordad 3" is suspiciously similar to BUK.
  12. Toucan
    Toucan 1 December 2020 00: 58
    0
    Very weak article negative
  13. AC130 Ganship
    AC130 Ganship 1 December 2020 01: 55
    -1
    I do not think that armed with modern missiles and radar, the F14 is much inferior to its peer F15, which is in service with the United States. Or the same Mig29
    1. Revolver
      Revolver 1 December 2020 04: 29
      +1
      Quote: AC130 Ganship
      I do not think that armed with modern missiles and radar, the F14 is much inferior to its peer F15, which is in service with the United States. Or the same Mig29

      And how many F-15s and MiG-29s are left before 1980, which have everything native? And after the Shah, Iran was not supplied with any spare parts, from the word AT ALL, and even less upgrades. When the US Navy decided to decommission the F-14s, they ALL were sent to press, with the exception of a few that were gutted and put in museums. And the entire stock of spare parts is also under the press. And this despite the fact that there were those who wanted to buy these F-14s. Especially so that not a single screw could get to Iran through third countries or dealers. So everything that is native has long been worn out according to all standards and must be replaced, and gliders for troubleshooting and overhaul, if finally repairable. And those semi-handicraft parts produced in Iran itself hardly match. Even the Chinese, for which the masters of the copier, could not copy the Soviet (Russian) aircraft engines, and the Persians in this matter are not even the Chinese, they have a lower pipe and a thinner smoke.
      Yes, the F-14s were at least in line with their time, but rather even far ahead. But 40 years have passed since then.
    2. EvilLion
      EvilLion 1 December 2020 09: 48
      0
      Those F-15A / B have already been decommissioned en masse, and the C and E are, as it were, modernized.
  14. Old26
    Old26 1 December 2020 22: 04
    +3
    Quote: EvilLion
    Unlike Tom "Top Ghana" Cruz, this handsome man https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zandiy_Jalil actually fought on the F-14 and claims 11 shot down.

    But he has been dead for 19 years. If he were alive, he would be 69 years old. Those who learned to fly the F-14 under the Shah - those already over 60. And what is the flying time of the new ones - HZ ...

    Quote: Dmitry Makarov
    And maybe tomorrow a new Iran will appear in the world

    Until the emergence of a new Iran - I'm afraid that time is counted in decades. A country that is now in such a position will not be able to show itself to the world as a new Iran.

    Quote: AC130 Ganship
    I do not think that armed with modern missiles and radar, the F14 is much inferior to its peer F15, which is in service with the United States. Or the same Mig29

    That's just the most important question. Is there a modern radar and missiles, or just what they were able to do, which is not the fact that it is modern. For example, the Iranians are hanging R-27s under the Tomcat. Only they can be called modern with a very big stretch.
    The same MiG-29 is the first modification of the MiG-29, which was in Iraq and which was transferred to Iran to save it from destruction. There was no modernization in Russia. What will this modification be able to do against at least the same A / F-18E? I'm afraid nothing
  15. datura23
    datura23 11 January 2021 12: 52
    0
    where does Iran get spare parts for American planes?
  16. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 12 January 2021 22: 53
    0
    Israel does not border on Iran and there is a problem to fly to Iran. And these are already larger UAVs and, accordingly, Iran's air defense will be easier to hit targets. And the IRBMs of Iran are becoming much more accurate than before, and everything goes to the emergence of high-engine ballistic missiles, which Iran can conventionally shy away from within a radius of 2-3000 km.
    But for a full-fledged air defense, fighters with modern radars are needed. And only China and the Russian Federation can sell them.