List of aircraft of the Iranian Air Force

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Iranian Air Force
Roundel of Iran.svg

Hierarchical Structure
History of the Iranian Air Force
List of senior officers
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 Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This list also include those operated by the air arm of the Iranian Army 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
Mikoyan MiG-29 Russia Multirole-fighter
40-44 1991 14 MiG-29 delivered in 1990. 20 more delivered in 1991. An additional 6 more delivered in 1993-1994. Iran also took 4 ex-Iraqi MiG-29 aircraft flown over in 1991, including one MiG-29UB. Only one 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. According to Russian media up to 30 (24 MiG-29A product 9.12A and 6 MiG-29UB 9.51) of all MiG-29s have been overhauled and can now be armed with Nasr-1 anti-ship missile.[5][6][7]
Grumman F-14 Tomcat US Interceptor F-14A 41 1974–present 80 examples ordered, 79 were originally delivered; the only plane to use the Phoenix missile. 40 to 43 in inventory.[6]

Iran currently has about 40 F-14 remaining with two of them having been upgraded to F-14AM[8] around 20 Fully Mission Capable and the other 20 Partially Mission Capable[citation needed]

Multirole fighters[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
HESA Saeqeh Iran Light Fighter 12 2006–present Is claimed to be heavily upgraded and indigenously made
HESA Kowsar Iran Fighter 15 made -10 released 2018–present

Western analysts have described the plane to be inefficient as a weapon, but having potential for training a new generation of Iranian fighter pilots. According to the Iranian state-media, this fighter jet has "advanced avionics" and multipurpose radar, and it was "100-percent indigenously made". It also uses digital data networks, a glass cockpit, heads-up display (HUD), ballistic computers and smart mobile mapping systems.

Su-22 Russia Fighter-Bomber Su-22M3/M4 20 1991–present The Iranian Air Force received 40 Su-20/22s from Iraq in 1991.[9] While non-operational for several years, Iran started in 2013 an overhauling program for these.[10] In March 2015, 10 of the Iranian Air Force Su-22 were transferred to the Syrian Arab Air Force to fight in the ongoing Civil War.[11] In July 2018, Iranian military technical experts successfully overhauled and modernized 10 Su-22s, giving them the ability to carry smart bombs, fire precision-guided munitions, transfer data from UAVs and in the near future the necessary systems to use air-launched cruise missiles with a range of 1500 km. The overhauled planes are being used by IRGC's Air Force.[12][13]
Chengdu J-7 China Fighter N/MB 24 1991–present
Mirage F1 France Multirole-fighter F1EQ/F1BQ 23 1991–present Iran received 24 F1BQs and F1EQs flown over from Iraq, during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. One Mirage F1BQ from Mashhad AFB (TFB.14) was shot down on July 8, 2001 by the Taliban with Sa-16/18 Manpad while involved in countering drug-smuggling at the Afghan border.
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II US Multirole-fighter F-4D/E
64 1968–present 225 examples ordered and delivered. According to Global Security 60 F-4D/E and 4 RF-4Es remain.[6] 10 are F-4Ds and 50 are F-4Es.[14] F-4Ds/Es are currently undergoing an upgrade program which includes a new Chinese-built radar and other avionics and weapons namely PL-5E, PL-11 and C-801.(According to the aviationist (October 2013) the Qader cruise missile that went into mass production was successfully tested on an F-4).[6][7]
Northrop F-5 Tiger II US Light fighter F-5E
60[6] 1974–present 181 examples ordered and delivered. According to Global Security 60 F-5's remain[6] This includes about 16 F-5F dual seat trainers and 44 F-5E fighter bomber[14]

Ground attack[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
HESA Azarakhsh Iran Light attack aircraft First Generation (includes twin-seat version) 4 2015 Rebuilt F-5E.
Sukhoi Su-24 Russia Strike/air-to-air refuelling "buddy" tanker Su-24MK 30 to 36 1991

12 aircraft supplied by Russia in 1991.[citation needed] 24 Iraqi examples were evacuated to Iran during the 1991 Gulf War and were put in service with the IRIAF. 30 Su-24MKs in service as of January 2013.[15][6] Iran tested domestically produced, anti-radar smart missiles carried by Su-24 aircraft in September 2011, the IRIAF's Deputy Commander, General Mohammad Alavi said, according to IRINN TV.[16]

Future additions[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Saegheh 2 Iran Fighter Fighter jet 1 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.[17]
Qaher-313 Iran Fighter Fighter Jet No data 2017 An Iranian Fifth-generation jet fighter. On 15 April 2017, the prototype Qaher-313 conducted taxi tests.[citation needed]
HESA Shafaq Iran Trainer / Attack aircraft No data 2017 Advanced light fighter/trainer, still in development

Reconnaissance, patrol, and EW[edit]

Maritime Patrol[edit]

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

Transport/AWACS/Maritime patrol[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
HESA IrAn-140 Iran Transport/AWACS/Maritime patrol 7 Project appears to have been stalled or cancelled.[18]

Transport and utility[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Antonov An-74 Ukraine utility transport 12 All assigned to IRGCAF, not IRIAF.
Ilyushin Il-76 Russia tactical airlift/transport 15 According to magazine "Airforce", only 4–5 of them are fully operational
Dassault Falcon 20 France VIP transport 3
Dassault Falcon 50 France VIP transport 1
Fokker F27 Friendship Netherlands tactical airlift/transport and target towing F27-400M
12 1972–present
Pilatus PC-6 Porter Switzerland utility transport 15
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.[6]

Boeing 747 US VIP transport/freighter 747-100
6 2 tanker, 4 transports.One is used for electronic warfare.[6]
Lockheed C-130 Hercules US tactical airlift/transport C-130E
27[6] Nine visible on Google Maps at Mehrabad Air Base, with various underwing stores and some do not appear to have all four engines installed.
Lockheed JetStar US VIP transport JetStar 8 2 1 operational in 2008


Aircraft Origin Type Versions Number Years Notes
Fajr F.3 Iran trainer F.3 2
HESA Dorna Iran Trainer 1 2016 Prototype
IAMI Parastoo Iran trainer 12 12 as of 2005.[6]
HESA Yasin Iran Advance Trainer 2+ HESA Yasin (formerly known as Kowsar 88) is a light aircraft and advance training aircraft designed and manufactured by Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Company at the request of the Air Force of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Yassin uses two 7,000-pound turbojet engines and is on par with the Russian MiG-AET jet.
HESA Simorgh / Northrop F-5 B Iran Advanced Trainer 9 F-5As converted domestically to F-5B standard.
Chengdu FT-7 China Advanced Trainer FT.7 14 Dual-seat J-7 conversion trainer. Some reports indicates that 5 are in service.[6] Scramble notes 14 active.[19]
TB-21 Tobago / TB-200 Trinidad France trainer 12 12 traniers in service.[6]
PAC MFI-17 Mushshak Pakistan trainer 25 25 trainers in service.[6]
Pilatus PC-7 Turbo Trainer Switzerland trainer 45
Beechcraft Bonanza US trainer F.33 28


Iranian helicopters are originally in its Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation.

Aircraft Origin Type Variant Number Years Notes
Agusta Bell 206 Italy Light utility/trainer AB 206 3 Licence-built in Italy.
Agusta-Bell 212 Italy Utility AB-212 2 Licence-built in Italy
Boeing CH-47 Chinook US Heavy-lift transport CH-47C 2

Other types[edit]

These types were also purchased by the Iranian government

A number of other types have been in recent, or reported to be in, Iranian service. Many 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Colvin, Ross. "Iraq air force wants Iran to give back its planes". Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  2. ^ "With new US planes slow to arrive, Iraq seeks remnants of Saddam's air force to bomb ISIL". Archived from the original on 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  3. ^ "Iraq cobbling together makeshift air force to fight ISIS". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-09-01. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
  4. ^ "Iran returns military aircraft to Iraq after 20 years". 23 June 2014. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Iranian Air Force receives overhauled MiG-29 fighter jet and new Nasr missiles - News - Russian Aviation - RUAVIATION.COM".
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Iran Air Force". Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b Taghvaee, Babak (June 2012). "Guardians of Tehran: Iranian Fulcrums". Combat Aircraft Monthly: 70–73.
  8. ^ "Analysis: Fakour Air-to-Air Missile". Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-28.
  9. ^ "01IRIAF Su 22 Fitter1 ::". Archived from the original on 2018-07-29. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  10. ^ Boring, War Is (2013-12-18). "This Is How Iran Maintains Its Bizarre Air Force". War Is Boring. Archived from the original on 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  11. ^ "Warplanes: Iran Gives Syria Ten Iraqi Su-22s". Archived from the original on 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  12. ^ "IRGC overhauls, upgrades 10 Sukhoi SU-22 fighter jets". 25 July 2018. Archived from the original on 26 July 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Iran Upgrades 10 Su-22 Fighter Jets Domestically". Archived from the original on 2018-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  14. ^ a b "Scramble". Archived from the original on 2017-08-25. Retrieved 2017-08-25.
  15. ^ . World Military Aircraft Inventory. "2013 Aerospace". Aviation Week and Space Technology. January 2013.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  16. ^ "Su-24 front-line bomber". September 2011. Archived from the original on 14 October 2011. Retrieved 5 Oct 2011.
  17. ^ "HESA Saeqeh Saeqeh-80 Azarakhsh-2 fighter aircraft". Archived from the original on 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Iran rejects manufacturing Iran-140 passenger plane". 19 May 2015. Archived from the original on 12 August 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Military Database - Scramble".

Further reading[edit]

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