Iran stages “massive” aerial parade with F-14, F-4, Mig-29 and several other warplanes

The traditional military parades at mausoleum of the Late Founder of Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, south of capital Tehran saw the flyover of several warplanes, including the legendary F-14 Tomcat.

On Apr. 18 Iran celebrated the National Army Day with a traditional and interesting flypast of most of its active warplanes. Eight formations for an overall 27 aircraft took part in the aerial parade: not really “massive” as some Iranian media wrote, still an interesting opportunity to see the majority of the IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) fighters and bombers in the air.


The flypast featured F-5F Tiger, F-5E Saeqeh, FT-7N, Mirage F.1EQs, F-14A Tomcat, F-4E Phantom, Mig-29UB Fulcrum and Su-24Mk Fencer divided in 8 formations.

F-14 takeoff

One of the formation was a mixed flight made of a Mig-29UB, an F-4E, an F-14A, a Mirage F.1BQ-3 and a Su-24Mk.


As highlighted by a member of the forum, both Mirage F.1BQ-3s were carrying F-5E/F external fuel tanks thanks to domestically designed and manufactured underwing pylons.

Mirage F1

Obviously, no sign of the famous F-313 Qaher stealth jet.


Along with the fixed wing aircraft, 26 helicopters of their Iranian Army Aviation performed their flypast which included AB-206Bs, AH-1Js, Bell 214As and CH-47Cs.


Image credit: IRNA News Agency


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • More like the 70’s, but still…My hat is off to the Iranians for keeping those old birds flying. It shows a pretty capable degree of ingenuity, considering most outlets of supply have been cutoff to them for nearly thrifty-five years, and to my understanding, the IRIAF is the most poorly funded service in their military organization.

    • You can say the same about all those countries flying F-16s and F-18s. You know, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland… Etc. etc…

      • “You can say the same about all those countries flying F-16s and F-18s.” How’d THAT thinking work out for Saddam?

  1. very well said.I think the answer is we have become too arrogant and out of touch with things.I remember when the iraqi war started.Every one thought this third world country would fall and we would have complete control within weeks.Well years later and what do we have to show?A country worse than before.A bigger mess than what we started with.Same thing goes for vietnam.The lesson here learned is never underestimate some one.

    • What are you talking about? Control of the country fell practically over night. The armed forces were disbanded and a new government was installed. Just because we couldn’t stop people from killing each other, doesn’t mean we didn’t bulldoze their military like it was nothing. We can’t stop people from killing each other in Chicago either.

      • And 5,000 dead U.S military personnel later…Well, I’m sure there was a point for it.

        • The initial comment, nor my reply, were about the merits of such a poorly thought out endeavor. Simply that the US military steamrolled Iraq and took over the country in a manner no one thought possible.

          For a contrast – look at Syria.

    • I find this statements wrong.

      Iraqi war opponents say: Iraqi was invaded to achieve 2 main targets:

      1. get their oil: done, Iraq is back on the global oil market selling good volumes, much higher than pre-war. Useless to mention the main brokers are US Companies
      2. force back the USD rather than EUR: done
      3. keep the weapons builders happy with zillions of USD flowing to them: done

      so 3/3 targets achieved = victory.

      While looking from the mainstream prospective:

      1. Tear down the regime and capture Saddam: done
      2. bring democracy: somehow done. they keep murdering each other… that happens everywhere. sometimes they elect people we don’t like. than what? isn’t it democracy supposed to work in that way?

      Again mission completed = victory.

      I am not clear about your “military victory” concept.
      Is it maybe about people trowing flowers, 0 KIA, 0 MIA, no civilian sufferings and all that? If yes, that’s called political victory. When you go violent people suffer, but still there is the winning side.

  2. From the heart and well-writen. We must admit that the Iranians have a lot of merit to be able to keep older aircraft flying without spare parts.

  3. The condescension is a direct result of the official Iranian propaganda. Nothing more, nothing less.

    You can’t build a paper mache, 3/4 size mockup of a laughably fake design – and then boldly announce to the world that you’ve made a new 5th generation fighter, and then expect people to not speak condescendingly about your actual capabilities.

    • Those servicemen are duty bound to do as they are ordered according to what they have. I will join you to mock politicians anywhere in the world anytime be it in Iran, US or anywhere else. But I would expect someone with any experience of service to have some respect for their counterparts even if they feel they belong to an adversary. Those men are risking their lives just as US personnel are to honour their duty to their country.

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