List of aircraft of the Iranian Air Force

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Iranian Air Force
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Hierarchical Structure
History of the Iranian Air Force
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Air Force Rank insignia
List of aircraft
Air Bases
List of air bases

This is a list of aircraft types operated by the Iranian Air Force, not including those operated by the air arm of the Aerospace Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution prior to the foundation of the Air Force as a separate service in August 1955. In 2007, Iraq asked Iran to return some of the scores of Iraqi fighter plans that flew there ahead of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.[1] And as of 2014, Iran was receptive to the demands and was working on refurbishing an unspecified number of jets.[2][3] In late 2014, Iran gave some of the impounded former Iraqi military aircraft back to Iraq.[4]

Combat types[edit]

Air superiority fighters[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Grumman F-14 Tomcat US Interceptor F-14A 44 1974– 80 examples ordered, 79 were originally delivered; the only plane to use the Phoenix missile.[5] 33 noted operational.
Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum Russia Fighter
MiG-29A 30 1991 24 MiG-29A/UB (18 x MiG-29A, 6 x MiG-29UB) delivered in early 1990's. Iran also took over 4 ex-Iraqi MiG-29 aircraft flown over in 1991, including one MiG-29UB. Only dual seater was taken into service with 3 single seaters cannibalized for spare parts. The current number of MiG-29 in active service is unknown although most sources point to 25.[5][6][7] According to Russian media up to 36 of MiG-29 have been overhauled and can now be armed with Nasr-1 anti-ship missile.

Multirole fighters[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II US Fighter-Bomber F-4D/E
64 1968– According to Global Security 60 F-4D/E and 4 RF-4Es are in service.[5] 10 are F-4Ds and 50 are F-4Es.[8] F-4Ds/Es are currently undergoing an upgrade program which includes a new Chinese-built radar and other avionics (PL 7,PL12).(According to the aviationist (October 2013) the Qader cruise missile that went into mass production was successfully tested on an F-4).[5][6]
Northrop F-5 Tiger II US Light fighter F-5E
60 [5] 1974– According to Global Security 60 F-5's modernized[5] This includes about 16 F-5F dual seat trainers and 44 F-5E fighter bomber[8]
HESA Saeqeh Iran Light Fighter 24 2006- around 24 in service

Ground attack[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
HESA Azarakhsh Iran Light attack aircraft First Generation (includes twin-seat version) 4 2015 [5]
Sukhoi Su-24 Russia Strike/air-to-air refuelling "buddy" tanker Su-24MK 30 1991 According to Global Security, 30 SU-24s are in service.[5] Upgraded with night vision. 24 examples formerly belonged to IQAF.
Sukhoi Su-25 Russia Close Air Support Su-25K/UBK 6 1991 7 ex-Iraqi Air Force Su-25s were transferred back to Iraq to fight ISIL[citation needed]

Future additions[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Saegheh 2 Iran Fighter Fighter jet 0 2016 The new generation of Saeqeh is a twin-seat fighter jet, which has more power, mobility, navigation equipment, fire power, pay load and operational range compared to its single-seat version.[9]
Qaher-313 Iran Fighter Fighter Jet ? ? An Iranian Fifth-generation jet fighter. On 15 April 2017, the prototype Qaher-313 conducted taxi tests.[10]

Reconnaissance, patrol, and EW[edit]

Maritime Patrol[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Lockheed P-3 Orion US maritime patrol P-3F 5 1974– 3 in service

Transport/AWACS/Maritime patrol[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
HESA IrAn-140 Iran Transport/AWACS/Maritime patrol 0 Project appears to have been stalled or cancelled.[11]

Transport and utility[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Boeing 707 US VIP transport
air-to-air refuelling tanker

1 tanker, 2 transports Global security reports that one 707 is a tanker and two are transports.[5]

Boeing 747 US VIP transport/freighter 747-100
6 2 tanker, 4 transports.[5]
Dassault Falcon 20 France VIP transport 3
Dassault Falcon 50 France VIP transport ?
Fokker F27 Friendship Netherlands tactical airlift/transport and target towing F27-400M
12 1972-
Ilyushin Il-76 Candid Russia transport 15 According to magazine "Airforce", only 4~5 of them are fully operational
Lockheed C-130 Hercules US tactical airlift/transport C-130E
Lockheed JetStar US VIP transport JetStar 8 2 1 operational in 2008
Pilatus PC-6 Porter Switzerland utility transport 15
Antonov An-74 Ukraine utility transport 12 All assigned to IRGCAF, not IRIAF.


Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Chengdu FT-7 China Advanced Trainer FT.7 14 Dual-seat J-7 conversion trainer. Some reports indicates that 5 are in service.[5] Scramble notes 14 active.[12]
Beechcraft Bonanza US trainer F.33 20
Fajr F.3 Iran trainer F.3 2
HESA Dorna Iran Trainer 1 2016 Prototype
IAMI Parastoo Iran trainer 12 12 as of 2005.[5]
HESA Simorgh / Northrop F-5 B Iran Advanced Trainer 9 F-5As converted domestically to F-5B standard.
Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer Switzerland trainer 45
TB-21 Tobago / TB-200 Trinidad France trainer 12 12 traniers in service.[5]
PAC MFI-17 Mushshak Pakistan trainer 25 25 trainers in service.[5]


Aircraft Origin Type Variant Number Years Notes
Boeing CH-47 Chinook US Heavy-lift transport helicopter CH-47C At least 40
Bell 214 US Search and rescue/medium-lift transport helicopter Bell 214C/214A 70[5]
Agusta-Bell 212 Italy Light transport helicopter AB-212 50 Licence-built in Italy
Agusta Bell 206 Italy Trainer/light transport helicopter AB 206 6 Licence-built in Italy.

Other types[edit]

These types were also purchased by the Iranian government

A number of other types have been in recent, or reported, Iranian service. Many may remain in reserve storage or are operated by the Army or Navy. Some recent types include:

Iran has a number of UAVs and UCAVs, currently under operation of the Iranian Army Aviation.

Iranian combat aircraft under development[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • Andrade, John (1982). Militair 1982. London: Aviation Press Limited. ISBN 0-907898-01-7. 

External links[edit]