Iran revealed images of its new Air Force base in early February, “Eagle 44.” Based on the released images, analysts believe the new base will house a shipment of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighters.

The Iranian leader said the new facility would be utilized as a launch pad to counter any future Israeli or another enemy attack.

According to a New York Times report, a propaganda video released by regime officials showed silhouettes of fighters stored at Eagle 44. Although most of the silhouettes depicted known Iranian fighters, one appeared to be an advanced Russian fighter jet.

Since Tehran has provided Russia with drones for use in Ukraine, a cargo of Su-35s is likely in exchange. The two rogue states have been collaborating more closely in light of the sanctions imposed on them by the majority of the international community.

The history of Sukhoi’s Su-35 fighter

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization calls the Su-35 “Flanker-E.” This name is given to two improved versions of the Su-27.

Su-27 is a single-seat, super-maneuverable, twin-engine aircraft that made its first flight in 1988. To attract export customers after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the platform was dubbed Su-35.

During the Cold War, the Kremlin desired an indigenous fighter aircraft comparable to the American-made F-15 Eagle; the Su-35 was the result.

Several changes have been made to the airframe throughout the years, and it now has rather advanced capabilities.


What makes the Flanker-E a fourth-generation “plus” platform?

In fact, the Flanker-E could be exactly compared to the F-15 regarding electronics and weaponry.

However, Moscow boasts that the Su-35 is a “fourth-generation plus.” Since the jet is super-maneuverable, it can perform impossible controlled maneuvers through normal aerodynamic mechanisms.

The Flanker-top E’s speed is roughly 1,500 miles per hour (Mach 2.25), which is comparable to the US F-22 Raptor and quicker than the F-35 Lightning II. The Su-35 can fly high and far, with a range of more than 2,000 miles and a service ceiling of approximately 60,000 feet.

The United Aircraft Company (UAC) claims that the Flanker-E combines the characteristics of a modern fighter (super maneuverability, superior active and passive acquisition aids, high supersonic speed and extended range, and the ability to manage battlegroup movements).

It’s a capable tactical aircraft that can carry a range of weaponry, a sophisticated multi-channel electronic warfare system, a decreased radar signature, and great combat survivability.

The advanced fighter is equipped with a 30mm Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30-1 cannon and up to 17,000 pounds of air-to-ground munitions. Although Russian forces do not currently possess many precision-guided munitions, the potential for large-scale use of these weapons remains.

Iran wants the Su-35 to revive its meager Air Force capabilities.

An influx of advanced Su-35 fighters would greatly enhance the capabilities of the Iranian Air Force. The regime continues to rely heavily on outdated and stolen technology, including F-14 Tomcat and F-4 Phantom fighters. Adding a fourth-generation “plus” platform would certainly be an advantage for Tehran.

Industry insiders have long suspected that the Kremlin would eventually have to pay the price for shipments of deadly combat drones that the Iranian regime delivered for its invasion of Ukraine. Combined with the latest clues provided by recently released images of the Eagle 44, the Russian Su-35 is likely to be the Kremlin’s payback.