Iran to Receive Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets in 2024 Deal

Iran to acquire advanced Russian Su-35 fighter jets in 2024, potentially shifting military balance in the Middle East and heightening regional tensions.

Trim Correspondents
New Update
Iran to Receive Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets in 2024 Deal

Iran to Receive Russian Su-35 Fighter Jets in 2024 Deal

Iran has reportedly reached an agreement to acquire Russian Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets, with deliveries expected in 2024. The deal, confirmed by Iran's Deputy Defense Minister, includes an unspecified number of Su-35s and helicopters.

The Su-35, often compared to the American F-16 Fighting Falcon, shares some common capabilities but also has unique characteristics. The Russian fighter boasts two engines, greater firepower, and enhanced survivability, while the F-16 is known for its lighter weight and superior agility. Experts suggest that the F-16 has more advanced radar systems and is generally considered more durable than the Su-35.

The acquisition of the Su-35s is seen as part of Iran's efforts to modernize its aging military capabilities. Iran has been seeking advanced weapons from Russia to bolster its defenses, particularly in light of escalating tensions with Israel and ongoing disputes with the United States and European Union over its nuclear program and regional activities.

Why this matters: The delivery of Russian Su-35 fighter jets to Iran in 2024 could significantly shift the military balance in the Middle East. The advanced capabilities of the Su-35s may embolden Iran in its regional ambitions and heighten concerns among its adversaries, particularly Israel and the United States.

The timing of the Su-35 deal coincides with Ukraine's anticipated deployment of dozens of F-16s pledged by Western allies. This potential matchup between the Russian and American fighter jets in real combat scenarios has attracted considerable attention among military analysts and observers.

The Su-35 acquisition also comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel. In April 2023, Israel conducted a precision strike on an Iranian S-300 radar system near Isfahan, damaging one of Iran's most advanced air defense systems used to protect its nuclear sites. Iran is likely to seek Russian assistance in repairing the damaged radar and further strengthening its defenses with the Su-35s and other advanced weapons.

As the 2024 delivery date for the Su-35s approaches, the international community will closely monitor the implications of this deal on regional stability and the ongoing rivalries between Iran, Israel, and other crucial actors in the Middle East. The introduction of advanced Russian fighter jets into Iran's arsenal adds another layer of complexity to an already volatile region.

Key Takeaways

  • Iran to acquire Russian Su-35 fighter jets by 2024, boosting military capabilities.
  • Su-35 has greater firepower, survivability than US F-16, but less advanced radar.
  • Su-35 deal coincides with Ukraine's planned F-16 deployment, raising regional tensions.
  • Iran seeks Russian aid to repair S-300 radar system damaged by Israeli strike.
  • Su-35 delivery could shift Middle East military balance, heighten regional rivalries.