Equipment of the Iranian Army

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From 1925 to the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Iran was mostly equipped with Western hardware. Cases exist where Iran was supplied with equipment even before it was made standard in the countries that developed it (for example the US F-14 Tomcat, or the British Chieftain Tank). Primary suppliers included the United States, Britain, France, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), Italy, Israel, and the Soviet Union.

The Iran–Iraq War, and post revolutionary sanctions at the time had a dramatic effect on Iran's inventory of western equipment. Under the pressures of war all supplies were quickly exhausted and replacements became increasingly difficult to come by. The war eventually forced Iran to turn towards the Soviet Union, North Korea, Brazil, and China to meet its short term military requirements. Initial developments in every field of military technology were carried out with the technical support of Russia, China, and North Korea to lay the foundations for future industries.

Iranian reliance on these countries has rapidly decreased over the last decade in most sectors where Iran sought to gain total independence; however, in some sectors such as the Aerospace sector and missile technology Iran is still greatly reliant on external help. Iran has developed the capacity to reverse engineer existing foreign hardware, adapt it to its own requirements and then manufacture the finished product. Examples of this are the Boragh and the HESA Azarakhsh. In an attempt to make its military industries more sustainable Iran has also sought to export its military products.

This page includes weapons used by both Iranian army and Revolutionary Guards ground forces.

Infantry weapons[edit]

Small arms[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
PC-9 ZOAF Semi-automatic pistol  Iran
9 mm pistol, unlicensed local production variant of the Swiss SIG Sauer P226.[1]
M1911A1 Semi-automatic pistol  United States
.45 ACP pistol.[2][3]
MPT-9 Submachine gun  Germany/ Iran
Heckler & Koch MP5-1.jpg
Heckler & Koch MP5 manufactured under licence[4]
Uzi Submachine gun  Israel
Uzi of the israeli armed forces.jpg
Nakhjir Sniper rifle  Soviet Union/ Iran
Interpolitex 2013 (536-15).jpg
SVD manufactured under license;[6] A new upgraded version was unveiled during the Muhammad Rasulullah 4 exercises held on 12 December 2016.[7]
Siyavash sniper rifle Sniper rifle  Iran Domestically produced lightweight sniper weighing 6.5 kg (14 lb) loaded[8]
Taher Sniper rifle  Iran Domestically developed sniper rifle with maximum range of 1200 m[7]
Steyr HS .50/Sayyad Anti-material rifle  Austria/ Iran
Steyr HS .50-frontal-scope.jpg
Shaher Anti-material rifle  Iran Iranian 14.5 mm anti material rifle.
Taktab Anti-material rifle  Iran Iranian 20 mm anti material sniper rifle[10]
S.5'56 Assault rifle  Iran
NORINCO Type CQ 5'56x45mm assault rifle.jpg
Copy of the Norinco CQ. In service with Saberin unit.[11]
Arash Anti-material rifle  Iran Iranian 20 mm bullpup anti material rifle.[12][13][14]
KH-2002 Assault rifle  Iran Iranian designed 5.56×45mm bullpup rifle. Limited service.[15]
Fateh Assault rifle  Iran Iranian 5.56x45mm clone of American XCR-L and FN SCAR .
AKM Assault rifle  Soviet Union
AKM automatkarbin, Ryssland - 7,62x39mm - Armémuseum.jpg
Type 56 Assault rifle  People's Republic of China
Norinco type 56.jpg
Chinese AKM clone
KL-7.62 Assault rifle  Iran
Norinco type 56.jpg
Iranian copy of the Chinese Type 56 and AKM. Possibly produced under license. IRGC main service rifle.
H&K G3A6 Battle rifle  Germany/ Iran
DCB Shooting G3 pictures.jpg
Licensed production,[17] Army main service rifle[16]
MGA3 General purpose machine gun  Germany/ Iran
Licensed production[17]
PKM-T80 General purpose machine gun  Soviet Union/ Iran
7,62 KK PKM Helsinki 2012.JPG
Local production[16]
MGD Heavy machine gun  Soviet Union/ Iran
Doushka desert.jpg
Local production[18]
RPK Light machine gun  Soviet Union
Machine Gun RPK.jpg
Local production
Akhgar Heavy machine gun  Iran Locally produced 7.62 mm 6-barrelled rotary machine gun.
Muharram Heavy machine gun  Iran Locally produced 12.7 mm 6-barrelled rotary machine gun.[19]
Nasir automatic grenade launcher  Iran 40mm automatic grenade launcher.
Star Model Z84 Submachine gun  Spain
Z84 01.jpg
amphibious submachine gun is using by IRGCN frogmen.
FAJR 224 Assault rifle  Iran/ United States
M4A1 ACOG.jpg
Iranian copy of American m4 assault rifle
sayad5.56 Assault rifle  Iran carbine version of Norinco cq produced by Iran

Small arms Reference 1:[16] Small arms Reference 2:[20] Small arms Reference 3:[21] Small arms Reference 4:[22]

Infantry anti-tank weapons/unguided[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
SPG-9 Recoilless rifle  Soviet Union/ Iran
SPG-9M rus.jpeg
M40 Recoilless rifle  United States/ Iran
RPG-7  Soviet Union/ Iran
RPG-7V1 grenade launcher - RaceofHeroes-part2-22.jpg
Type 69 RPG  People's Republic of China
Chinese copy of Russian RPG-7.
Saegheh  Iran Improved version of the RPG-7.[26]
RPG-29  Soviet Union

AT Rockets Reference 1:[20] AT Rockets Reference 2:[28] AT Rockets Reference 3:[21] AT Rockets Reference 4:[22]

Anti-tank guided missile[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
Toophan Anti-tank guided missile +  Iran Reverse engineered version of early BGM-71A TOW missile.
Toophan 2/2B Anti-tank guided missile +  Iran Reverse engineered US BGM-71C TOW.
Toophan 5 Anti-tank/Anti-helicopter guided missile +  Iran Upgraded BGM-71C TOW with laser beam riding guidance system.
Saeghe 1/2 Anti-tank guided missile +  Iran
Dragon 04.jpg
Reverse engineered M47 Dragon.[29][30]
9K11 Malyutka/Raad Anti-tank guided missile +  Soviet Union/ Iran
Manufactured in Iran under the name Raad.
9K111 Fagot Anti-tank guided missile +  Soviet Union
9M111 AT-4 Spigot.jpg
9M113 Konkurs Anti-tank guided missile +  Soviet Union/ Iran
Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Russian-Made Missile Found in Hezbollah Hands.jpg
Built as Towsan-1 or M-113 in Iran.
9K115-2 Metis-M Anti-tank guided missile +  Russia/ Iran
Antitank missile system Metis-M1.jpg
Produced under license from Russia.
MILAN Anti-tank guided missile +  France
Captured during the Iran-Iraq War. Probably no longer in service.
Dehlavie Anti-tank guided missile +  Iran
9M133 Kornet.JPG
Iranian copy of Kornet.[31][32] Available as Pirooz vehicle-mounted weapon station.[33]

ATGM Reference 1:[34] ATGM Reference 2:[24] ATGM Reference 3:[28]


Armored fighting vehicles[edit]

Armored fighting vehicles[24][34]
Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
Armored personnel carrier 350 1997  Iran
BWP-1 Baltops 2016 0283.jpg
210 BMP-1 and 140 Boragh According to Global Security[35]
Sarir Armored personnel carrier +  Iran IRGC only.
Rakhsh Armored personnel carrier 2006  Iran
Sayyad Armored fast attack vehicle +  Iran
M113 Armored personnel carrier 200  United States
Allied Spirit I 150126-A-LO967-001.jpg
EE-9 Cascavel Armored car 35  Brazil
Engesa Cascavel main.JPG
According to Global Security 35 are in service.[35]
Amphibious Armored personnel carrier 250 1966  Soviet Union

KPVT 14.5 mm machine gun replaced with DShKM 12.7 mm machine gun or ZSU-23 gun on some vehicles. ATGM launchers added to some vehicles.
BMP-2 Infantry fighting vehicle 400 1991–2001  Soviet Union
BMP-2 military parade rehearsal.jpg
1,500 ordered in 1991 from Russia and 413 were delivered between 1993 and 2001 of which 82 were delivered directly by Russia and 331 were assembled in Iran.[36] 100 were in service in 1995, 140 in 2000 and 400 in 2002, 2005 and 2008.[34] 400 are currently in service.[37] Some sources claim that production is ongoing.
FV101 Scorpion Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance 80 1997  United Kingdom
Scorpion CRVT (4119399295).jpg
Tosan is a domestically produced light Tank, based on the FV101 Scorpion
Tosan Tank Light Tank 20 1997  Iran
Zulfiqar MBT 3
Zulfiqar MBT 2
Zulfiqar MBT 1
Main Battle Tank 100+
1996–present  Iran Based on M60 and T-72. Featuring EFCS-3 fire control system and autoloader. Late production Zulfiqar 3 has a RAM camouflage and RWS with mounted DShKM machine gun. 150+ in service Global Security.[35]
Main battle tank -100(Chieftain) -Mobarez ~50  United Kingdom/ Iran
Chieftain Tank (9628802829).jpg
707 Mk-3P and Mk-5P, 125–189 FV-4030-1, 41 ARV and 14 AVLB obtained before the 1979 revolution. Further planned deliveries of the more capable 4030 series were cancelled at that point. 100 in service as of 2005.Many others upgraded to Mobarez[38]
M60 Patton Main Battle Tank 150  United States/ Iran
American M60A3 tank Lake Charles, Louisiana April 2005.jpg
Some sources claim ~150 M60.[39] Locally modernized as the Samsam.[40]
M47 Patton Main Battle Tank 168  United States/ Iran
~68 M47 Global Security locally modernized as the Sabalan[39] and Tiam.[41][35]
T-72S Main Battle Tank 480 1994–1999  Iran/ Soviet Union
T-72 ATE South Africa.jpg
Iran produced 422 T-72S tanks under licence from Russia from 1993-2001, received 104 T-72M1 tanks from Poland from 1994-1995 and 37 T-72M1 tanks from Belarus starting in 2000.[42] Possible unlicensed production.
T-62 Main Battle Tank 80  Soviet Union
T-54/55 Main Battle Tank 100  Soviet Union
T-55 4.jpg
T-72Z Safir-74 Main Battle Tank 238  Iran 10 tanks.[35]
Karrar Main Battle Tank 2016  Iran

Other vehicles[edit]

Other Vehicles[citation needed]
Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
Safir Jeep Multipurpose Military vehicle 5000+ 2008  Iran Yearly production of 5000 vehicles[43][44]
Samandar Light Attack Vehicle +  Iran [45][46]
Kaviran Multipurpose Military vehicle +  Iran [47]
Sepehr Utility vehicle +  Iran [48][49]
Aras Multipurpose Military vehicle +  Iran [50][51]
Ranger Light Attack Vehicle +  Iran [52][53]
Neynava Lightweight Truck +  Iran [54]
Mercedes-Benz L-series truck Truck +
Mercedes-Benz Actros Heavy Truck +
Transportplan Mercedes-Benz Actros.jpg
KrAZ Trucks Heavy Truck +
KRAZ truck mims 2006.JPG
Hyundai Mighty Light Truck +
Hyundai All new mighty wingbody frontside.png



Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin Notes
37mm Marsh Mortar 37mm Mortar + Iran
HM 12 60mm Mortar + Iran
HM 13 60mm Mortar + Iran
HM 14 60mm Mortar + Iran
HM 15 81mm Mortar + Iran
HM 16 120mm Mortar + Iran
Razm Mortar 120mm Mortar + Iran [47]
Vafa Mortar 160mm Mortar + Iran [50][51]

Mortars Reference 1:[24] Mortars Reference 2:[20]

Towed artillery[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
M101A1 105mm howitzer 130  United States
2A18M 122mm howitzer 550  Soviet Union
Хаубица Д-30 122мм.jpg
Type-54 122mm howitzer 100  China
M1954/Type 59-1 130mm howitzer 985  Soviet Union/ China
M-46 Lutsk.jpg
In 2002, Iran had 1,100 M-46 in conditional use. By 2012 this number has dropped to 985.
M1955 152mm howitzer 30  Soviet Union/ China
Howitzer D-20.jpg
WAC-21 155mm howitzer 15  China
GHN-45 155mm howitzer 120  Canada
M-114 155mm howitzer 70  United States
USArmy M114 howitzer.jpg
122mm HM 40 122mm howitzer +  Iran
155mm HM 41 155mm howitzer +  Iran
FH-77B 155mm howitzer 18  Sweden
Haubits 77BMK2.JPG
G-5 155mm howitzer 50  South Africa
G5 howitzer (Impi).jpg
In 1990, Iran had 50 G-5. Howerver, there is no current information on the condition of these howitzer.
M-115 203mm howitzer 20  United States
M115 display.jpg
Type 63 MRL/Fajr 1 107mm MRL 1300 1986  Iran/ China
H12 Type 63 multiple rocket launcher.JPG
Global Security[35]

Artillery Reference 1:[37]

Self-propelled artillery[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
2S1 Gvozdika 122mm self-propelled howitzer 60  Soviet Union
Ukrainian 2S1 Gvozdika SPG.jpg
Raad 1 122mm self-propelled howitzer + 1996  Iran Based on 2S1 Gvozdika
Raad 2 155mm self-propelled howitzer + 1997  Iran
Holy Defence Week Expo - Simorgh Culture House - Nishapur 156.jpg
Based on M109
M-109 155mm self-propelled howitzer 180  United States/ Iran
M109A4 155 mm SP Gun, CCFB Valcartier, Quebec, 5 Sep 2011 (26).JPG
Remanufactured locally as the Hoveyzeh.[56]
M-1978 170mm self-propelled howitzer 20  North Korea
M-107 175mm self-propelled howitzer 30  United States
M-110 203mm self-propelled howitzer 30  United States
203mm Self-Propelled Howitzer M110A2.JPG
Fajr-3 240mm MRLS 19 1994  Iran
Fajr-5 330mm MRLS 19 1990  Iran
Shahin-1 MRLS + 1990  Iran
Shahin-2 MRLS + 1995  Iran
BM-21 Grad 122mm MRLS 100 1978  Soviet Union
Russian BM-21 Grad in Saint Petersburg.JPG
122mm Hadid/Azrash/Nur 122mm MRLS 55 1994  Iran Domestic BM-21 developments?

SPA Reference:[34]

Surface-to-surface missiles[edit]

This refers to ballistic missiles and not battlefield systems. Iran's missile forces are under the command of the Revolutionary Guards, under the army's authority.
Additional information is available at Air Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution who operate Iran's long-range missiles. Iran was reported to have purchased 18 mobile 3,200-4,000 km Musudan missiles (the extended range version of Soviet R-27 Zyb) in 2005.[57]

Anti ship missiles[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
Kowsar 1/2/3 Anti-ship missile +  Iran Light ASCM based on Chinese C-701 and TL-10[58]
Nasr-1 Anti ship missile +  Iran
Nasr-1 Missile by tasnimnews 04.jpg
Light ASCM based on Chinese C-705 and TL-6[58]
Noor Anti-ship missile +  Iran ASCM based on Chinese C-801 and C-802
Ra'ad Anti-ship missile +  Iran Iranian origin Heavy ASCM similar to Chinese C-401[59]
Qader Anti ship missile +  Iran
Firing Qader Missile from a truck launcher (2).jpg
Khalij Fars Anti-ship ballistic missile +  Iran Based on Fateh-110[61][62]
Zafar Anti-ship missile +  Iran Light ASCM for IRGC navy[63]

Anti ship missiles Reference 1:[24] Anti ship missiles Reference 2:[28]

Battlefield missile systems[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
Tondar-69 Rocket artillery +  Iran
Oghab Rocket artillery + 1985–present  Iran
Oghab rocket.png
Naze'at Rocket artillery +  Iran
Naze'at Missile by Tasnimnews 02.jpg
Zelzal Tactical ballistic missile +  Iran
Zelzal 3 2012.jpg
Fateh-110 Tactical ballistic missile + 2002–present  Iran [65]

Battlefield missile systems Reference 1:[34] Battlefield missile systems Reference 2:[28]

Air defence missile systems[edit]


The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) is the air arm of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army. It is not known how much of this inventory is actually operational.

Aircraft Type Versions In service Manufacturer Photo
F-14 Interceptor and Air superiority fighter A 44 built by Northrop Grumman
Iranian AF F-14 Tomcat landing at Mehrabad.jpg
Mig-29 Multi role and trainer aircraft A/UB 25 built by Mikoyan
Iran Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29UB Sharifi.jpg
Mirage F1 Multi role and trainer aircraft EQ/BQ 23 built by Dassault Aviation
Mirage F1BQ of IRIAF.jpg
J-7 Multi role aircraft M 24 built by Chengdu
IRIAF MiG-21 landing.jpg
Saeqeh Multi role aircraft 1-2 30 built by HESA
A HESA Saeqeh of IRIAF.jpg
F-4 Multi role aircraft RF, D/E 64 built by McDonnell Douglas
An IRIAF F-4E takeoffs.jpg
F-5 Multi role and trainer aircraft E/F 60 built by Northrop Grumman
IRIAF Northrop F-5E Tiger II Talebzadeh.jpg
Azarakhsh Attack aircraft 1-2 41 built by HESA
An IRIAF HESA Azarakhsh in Vahdati Airbase Air Show.JPG
Su-24 Deep strike and interdictor aircraft MK 30 built by Sukhoi
A Sukhoi Su-24MK of IRIAF flighting over Shiraz.jpg
Su-25 Close-support attack and trainer aircraft MK/UBK 6 built by Sukhoi
Bell 206 JetRanger utility helicopter AB 206A
Shabaviz 2061
10+ built by Agusta and Panha Great Prophet Wargame by tasnimnews 08.jpg
Bell 205 utility helicopter AB 205A
Shabaviz 2-75
68 built by Agusta and Panha
A Bell 205 of IRIAA.jpg
Bell 214 medium-lift transport helicopter 214A / 214C 50[66]
Bell 214B.JPG
Mi-17/Mi-171sh medium-lift transport helicopter Mi-17
Afghan Mi-17.jpg
Bell AH-1J Sea Cobra attack helicopter AH-1J
Panha 2091
Iranian Army Bell AH-1J International Cobra (209) Sharifi-1.jpg
Toofan attack helicopter Toofan 1 / Toofan 2 11[68]
Balgard tofan6.jpg
Boeing CH-47 Chinook Heavy-lift transport helicopter CH-47C 20 built by Agusta
CH-47 Iran Air Force Esfahan March 2011.png
Dassault Falcon 20 VIP transport Falcon 20E 3
Islamic Republic of Iran Army Dassault Falcon 20 at Basle in April 1982.jpg
Aero Commander utility transport 690 4
An Aero Commander 690A of IRIAA.jpg
Lockheed P-3 Orion Patrol F 3 built by Lockheed
IrAn-140 Move / AWACS / Offshore Patrol F 5+ Iran/Ukraine
Antonov An-140 MAKS-2005-08-20.jpg
Fokker F27 Friendship tactical transport F27-400M
Irani Fokker F27.jpg
Cessna 185 transport Cessna 185F 10
C-FFXO Cessna Skywagon II 185 (C185) 03.JPG

Unmanned aerial vehicles[edit]

Model Type Quantity Acquired Origin photo Notes
Sofreh Mahi Stealth UCAV -  Iran
Under development
Karrar (UCAV) UCAV + 2010  Iran
Ababil UAV + 1986  Iran
A wide number built in several different Variants including the tactical Ababil-5 for medium-range reconnaissance and surveillance, the Ababil-T for short/medium-range attack, and also the Ababil-B and -S[71]
Mohajer I/II/III/IV UAV 300+ 1980's  Iran [24][72]
Raad 85 UAV +  Iran Suicide drone[72]
Ra'ad (UAV) UAV +  Iran With offensive capabilities[73][74]
Nazir (UAV) UAV +  Iran [73][74]
Hod Hod UAV +  Iran [75]
Saeghe Target Drone +  Iran
MQM-107 Target Drone +  United States
Yasir UAV + 2013  Iran
ScanEagle UAV catapult launcher 2005-04-16.jpg
In November 2013 a Yasir UAV was shown flying over Damascus, Syria in support of Syrian Arab Army forces fighting against rebels.[72][77]
Shahed 129 UCAV +  Iran On April 10, 2014, rebels in Syria recorded a UAV resembling a Shahed 129 flying over Eastern Ghouta, Damascus[78]
Hamaseh (UCAV) UCAV +  Iran A medium-range drone, capable of carrying air to ground missiles.
H-110 Sarir UCAV 10+  Iran capable of carrying air-to-air missiles.[79]
Fotros UCAV +  Iran UCAV with range of 2000 km, flight ceiling of 25000 ft and 16–30 hours flight endurance, armed with missiles.[80]

Other equipment[edit]

  • Gas masks
  • Bullet Proof Vests (most units use no vests, with rare occasions of light vests. Military-grade vests are used only by commando units)
  • M1 helmets
  • Kevlar helmets (replacing M1 helmets)

See also[edit]


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