Has Iran received its first Su-35s from Russia?

Iran reportedly received the first batch of Su-35S fighters from Russia. The first delivery batch is claimed to include 3 Su-35S fighters.

Egypt had ordered 24 Sukhoi Su-35s fighters from the Russian Federation in recent years as part of the Egyptian Air Force’s (FAE) needs. However, the manufactured Su-35S was not received by Egypt, citing technical reasons.

The buyer of the Su-35s that Egypt did not receive was Iran. Iran, which is one of the suitors for the Su-35S produced for Egypt, has completed official arrangements with the Russian Federation in recent weeks. The first batch of 3 Su-35 fighters was recently delivered to Iran. The planes were filmed as they took off from Mehrabad International Airport.

Has Iran received its first Su-35s from Russia?

Although it is not yet known how many Su-35S Iran will receive, it is known that the production of 15 aircraft has been completed so far under the Egyptian order for 24 Su-35S. 

It should be noted that the purchase of new aircraft will seriously strengthen the Iranian Air Force, which is suffering from a shortage of obsolete equipment and spare parts due to the imposed sanctions.

It is also claimed that both countries have signed a $10 billion deal that includes purchasing 2 batteries of S-400 air defense systems and 24 Su-35 fighters, as well as maintenance and modernization of Russian-made fighters. Iran has in its inventory.

On the other hand, it is claimed that Iran will pay for the Su-35s by sending different types of weapons and ammunition to Russia. Russia, which declared war on Ukraine in February, had purchased a lot of weapons and ammunition from Iran. Among the weapons acquired by Russia from Ukraine are the Shahed-136 Kamikaze unmanned aerial vehicles.

But experts such as Piotr Butowski deny that these images are of Su-35 fighters and that Russia has so far not sent the modern jets to Iran. Piotr Butowski is an aviation journalist, writer, and photographer specializing in Russian aviation, especially the aerospace industry and technology.

Has Iran received its first Su-35s from Russia?
Su-35 fighters at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft factory

In December 2022, Western intelligence services reported that Russia would deliver Su-35 fighters to Iran in exchange for military aid. The Biden administration has charged Russia with delivering modern military equipment to Iran as part of a growing alliance between the two countries. This weaponry is said to include air defense systems, helicopters, and fighter jets.

 

The commander of the Iranian Air Force reported late last year that the previously planned purchase of Russian Su-30 fighters had given way to plans to purchase Su-35 fighters.

In January 2023, Shahriar Heydari, a member of Iran’s parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, confirmed the Russian jet purchase deal.

He mentioned that the plans would be delivered to the country at the beginning of the new year, according to the Iranian calendar, after March 21. Russia has also trained Iranian pilots to fly the Su-35 fighter.