[Video] Iraqi Air Force receives surplus Russian Air Force Su-25 attack planes to fight ISIS

The Iraqi Air Force is receiving 12 Su-25 Frogfoot attack planes from Russia to fight ISIS.

On Jun. 28, the Iraqi Air Force (IQAF) received the first of 12 ex-Russian Air Force Su-25s attack planes. Seven Iraqi Air Force Su-25s fled to Iran in January 1991 and Tehran added them to the fleet operated by the Pasdaran (informal name of the IRGC – the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution)

The “new” aircraft will be used to put more pressure on rebel ISIS (Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) forces, that have taken over large parts of the country in recent weeks and back the Mi-35 gunships, involved in antiterrorist operations against militants.

Another Iraqi Army Mi-35 Hind gunship involved in an insertion of special forces into the football stadium of the Salahaddin University campus was shot down by ISIS last week.

Russia has plenty of surplus stocks of Su-25s that the IQAF used to fly until the early 1990s. But few pilots and no groundcrews are currently available to fly according to ACIG.org editor Tom Cooper.

For this reason, for the next few months, Iraqi personnel will be supported and trained by Russians to operate the aircraft, until they become once again autonomous on the type.

The aircraft will be based at Tallil.

Cooper has noted the aircraft were not even overhauled before delivery, as the following screenshot, showing signs of corrosion on one of the first two delivered Su-25, shows.

IQAF Su-25 28Jun14 side

Top image credit: Reuters


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.