Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Viktor Bondarev visited Iran at the invitation of his Iranian colleague, Brigadier General Hassan Shah-Safi. The visit lasted four days. During this time, our commander-in-chief, naturally, was shown by almost all the available military-technical achievements of the Islamic Republic.
Iran, in principle, is trying to prove to the world that it is actively developing technologically and is able to repel any attack. And for such a desire of the Iranians is difficult to blame. For many years this country has been under serious pressure from almost all its neighbors — perhaps from Russia’s least. But overseas world hegemon, until recently, generally created from Iran a kind of horror story, “a threat to all progressive humanity”, which can be used to justify its military programs. Suffice it to recall the placement of elements of the global strategic missile defense system (PRO) in Europe. Without the “Iranian nuclear threat”, it would be very difficult to start deploying such a system around the world.
In such a situation, with virtually no allies, Iran can only rely on itself. In the first place - on the armed. And it is quite logical that he tries to strengthen them, willy-nilly, playing on the image of his aggressiveness.
But back to the military achievements of Iran, which were demonstrated to our commander-in-chief of the Air Force. According to the official report of the Iranian media, the video was transmitted to Viktor Bondarev, which captured the potential of the aerospace forces while tracking the warships of supra-regional powers in the waters of the Persian Gulf. In other words, Iran is able to track the movements of NATO ships in the Persian Gulf using air reconnaissance devices. As demonstrated to us.
What for? Iran is very interested in close cooperation with Russia, and is ready to be useful in getting closer to us. This is not only economic and military-technical cooperation. This is an application for participation in a new regional security architecture. Best of all, this application is illustrated by the statement of Brigadier General Farzad Ismailia, who showed Viktor Nikolayevich the base of Khatam Al-Anbiya air defense system: “The more the defense doctrines of Iran and the Russian Federation converge, the more stability will be in the region”.
So far, the convergence of defense doctrines is more from the area of wishes than from reality. But Iran actively demonstrates to us that it has such a wish, and, by the good Eastern tradition, it reinforces this wish with friendly gestures and valuable gifts.
One of these gifts was presented to Viktor Bondarev by Brigadier General Amir Ali Khajizade (commander aviation Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)): the Yasseer unmanned aerial vehicle. Apparently, only the apparatus, without control systems. This is a copied American Scan Eagle. The Iranians intercepted him last December when he was conducting reconnaissance over Iranian territory. More recently, Iran announced that it would begin mass production of a copy of this device.
The Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was adopted by the US Navy in 2005. It is able to stay in the air for 8 hours, has a range of 200 km and a flight altitude of 4500 meters, can conduct optical reconnaissance and determine the coordinates of various objects for targeting weapons. it naval drone scout. It is launched using a small pneumatic catapult, and sits down, clinging with a hook to the tensioned cable. In general, this device can be called optimal for solving its tasks.
And if Iran managed to reproduce most of the characteristics of the original UAV, then an Iranian copy may be of interest to us. A few years ago we were ready to buy obsolete Israeli UAVs, because we did not have access to more advanced technologies. Since then, we have come close to implementing several of our own programs. But acquaintance with technical solutions of a very high-quality foreign apparatus would be useful for us.
Of course, the most interesting technologies are those that are most difficult to copy - control, communication and automation systems. But the fact of the gift hints at the possibility of mutually beneficial cooperation in this area.
It will not be superfluous to recall here that in 2011, the specialists who helped the Iranians to master our radio equipment had a hand in getting Iran to have a truly advanced American UAV - RQ-170 Sentinel. Then it was possible to break the orientation system and the flight mission of the apparatus, thanks to which Sentinel made a relatively soft landing in Iran, and did not return to the American base in the western part of Afghanistan. Before RQ-170 was shown by Iranian television, no one suspected its existence at all. Sentinel was used by the CIA for strategic intelligence, and therefore was secret. In addition to the stealth technology, RQ-170 was extremely interesting for its reconnaissance equipment, communication systems and flight algorithms in automatic mode. However, access to the device was not immediately granted to our specialists, despite the obvious merit in obtaining it. According to some unconfirmed information, only at the beginning of this year we were provided with data about it.
Now we can clearly bring our positions together with Iran. This is evidenced by the invitation of the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force and the steps towards them that were taken during the visit.
Naturally, Iran is interested in military-technical cooperation and political support. In 2014 – 2015, he may get out of international sanctions, partially free from external pressure, but he will not get rid of tensions with his neighbors.
The fact that the Americans suddenly decided to soften their policies towards this country does not detract from the possibility of a big Shiite-Sunni war in the Middle East. And Iran understands this well. That is why he tries to strengthen military capabilities and find allies. At least tactical.
We have already written about the decision to resume cooperation with Iran on long-range anti-aircraft missile systems. This issue was discussed during the visit of Viktor Bondarev. The talks also touched on other weapons systems: electronic intelligence, radar stations and guided missiles.
Here it should be said that supplying Iran with its high-tech weapon we benefit not only for economic reasons, but also for security reasons. Iran will always be our neighbor. And it is desirable that he always was a good and stable neighbor. But even if any complications happen, our missiles that are in service with another state will never fly into us. And by selling our weapons, we indirectly ensure our own security.