Some (rusty) Iranian Mig-29s on display at Tabriz airbase in new images released by IRNA news agency

Feb 05 2012 - 8 Comments

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) has just released some quite interesting pictures of an exhibition of IRIAF planes and equipment that took place at Tabriz, in northwest of Iran.

Among the images made public by the news agency, some depict some (quite “rusty”, or at least dirty) Mig-29s, along with F-5Es and “Saeqeh” (Thunder) an indigenously modified version of the American F-5 Tiger, whose twin tails and blue colour are loosely reminiscent of the Blue Angels.

Generally speaking, the flying F-14s and F-4s recently exposed in the Russian Knights pictures taken during the return trip of the team from Bahrain International Air Show seemed to be in better conditions than these Mig-29s: at least one of the Fulcrum on display is unserviceable (it lacks both engines).

Image credit: IRNA news agency

  • Paymon

    Mr Cenciotti,

    You’ve been following the IRIAF very closely over the past few months and I enjoy reading your articles on them. But I’m very interested to know more about the IRIAF. Is there a way you could do a piece on the current state of the IRIAF and how they rank up against the USAF, USN, IAF, RSAF, UAEAF, etc. in case a military conflict does break out? I want to know if Iran is actually capable of repelling any kind of an airstrike by the US or Israel.

  • Charles Stafrace

    The Fulcrums are probably those pinched from the Iraqis when they flew for ‘safety’ in 1990 before Desert Storm’ and retained by the Iranians. If i am not mistaken, i believe that four MiG-29s were involved, although in all some Iraqi 114 aircraft – both combat and civil airliners – took refuge in Iran during the same period.

  • Ugo

    I would suggest this very recent book from Tom Cooper:

  • @ Charles:
    You can also see some details re Iraqi MiG-29 in the book ‘Iraqi Fighters 1953-2003’.

    For further details see

  • Danial

    The Iranians are having a touch time maintaining the current fleet of MIG-29 given that some (probably 5-9 aircraft) have come close to their end of life but was told that the local Iranian aircraft company is overhauling them given some Russian and Chinese assistance on bringing these aircraft back to operational status. However, the assistance given is train the local technicians do deliver the job and not doing the effort themselves. I wouldn’t be surprise Iran is able to field maybe 4-8 aircraft at anyone time if attacked by western military. But i also know they have done a good job with the F-14 Tomcats on the radar system given the source code have been cracked by Russian and Iranian specialists. They have also reverse engineered the pheonix missiles

    • Pieter

      If this information is correct we are talking about a violation of the UN arms embargo on Iran. Is there more concrete info about foreign support for maintenance of Iranian MiG-29s?

      On 9 June 2010 Security Council Resolution 1929 imposed further restrictions on arms exports to Iran. Resolution 1929 inter alia prohibits states to directly or indirectly supply, or help to supply, Iran with major conventional weapons as defined by the UN Register of Conventional Weapons – battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large calibre artillery, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, certain missiles and missile launchers. The resolution also prohibits the supply of related spare parts along with ‘technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of’ the listed items.

  • Danial

    The Iranians are also in short supply of Russian air to air missiles like the Archer, Aphid and the Alamo. Some of these missiles are nearing the end of their shelf life so i wouldn’t be surprise the Iranians are trying to maintain them using existing parts and hoping that these will work during the war

  • Camille Ratel

    LES MIG 29!!!!!! de super aéronefs.