Tag Archives: Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force

Top Gun Reloaded: F-14 Tomcats take off for night missions. Few days ago, in Iran.

World’s last active service F-14 Tomcat jets took part in a large exercise in Iran. And are some really cool shots.

The U.S. Navy retired the legendary F-14 in September 2006. Nowadays, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) remains the world’s only operator of the Tomcat, a type of interceptor that Tehran has been able to kept airworthy and somehow enhance with some domestic avionics upgrades and weapons  throughout the years in spite of the embargo imposed after the 1979 Revolution.

The Persian Tomcats, that the IRIAF plans to fly until 2030, are based at TFB.8 (Tactical Fighter Base 8) Baba’i near Eshahan, in central Iran.

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“TFB.8 has three F-14 Squadrons with total 62 F-14As but only almost half are airworthy at this moment; just 35 according to the 2013 records” says Iranian Defense Journalist and writer Babak Taghvaee.

“During this three days exercise six of the best F-14As of the 82nd and 83rd Tactical Fighter Squadrons participated. Why the best? Because IRIAF has two types of F-14As: PMC (Partially Mission-Capable) ones, usually suitable for Training and can become FMC in case of war. And Fully Mission-Capable Tomcats with fully operable fire control system, armament system and INS. These FMC F-14As are usually used for 24/7 Quick Reaction Alert and other combat missions (Usually 70% of the airworthy Tomcats are FMC).”

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According to Taghvaee at least six of these FMC Tomcats, including an F-14AM, took part to the exercise and for first time in ten years pilots had chance to renew their AIM-9 and AIM-7 AAM launch skills.

“The F-14s were used in simulated HVACAP, BARCAP and CAP. Escorted F-4Es in first night of exercise. Then engaged with MiG-29s in morning of second day. And launched missiles today morning (Last and third day). They also escorted the Tanker airplanes.”

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Last year, Iranian Air Force F-14 Tomcat interceptors escorted Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear bombers flying in Iranian airspace during their 9h 30mins missions (from Engels airbase and back, along the Iraq-Iran-Caspian Sea 6,500 km-long corridor) against targets in Syria.

F-14AMs (“Modernized”) include domestic avionics (radar and RWR) and weapons: R-73E, AIM-54A, AIM-7E and AIM-9J are among the air-to-air missiles adapted to the aircraft’s fire control system.

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Some Iranian Tomcats are also given a three-tone Asian Minor II camouflage pattern loosely resembling the “splintered” one adopted by Russian 4th and 5th generation fighter planes and U.S. Aggressors.

Image credit: FARS News

This Infographic provides all the details about the Russian Strategic Bomber Fleet Operations over Syria

All you need to know about the Russian bombers missions against terrorists in Syria.

Beginning on Nov. 17, the Russian Air Force has started pounding Islamic State (as well as rebel forces) in Syria with its Stategic Bomber Fleet.

Tu-22M Backfire, Tu-95MS Bear and Tu-160 Blackjack bombers have carried out long round-trip missions from bases in mainland Russia dropping a wide variety of guided and unguided weapons over terrorists targets: from the FAB-250 iron bombs, to the KH-555 and KH-101 air launched cruise missiles.

On Nov. 20, for the first time ever, two Tu-160s carried out their mission taking off from a deployment base in Kola Peninsula: they flew around western Europe, through the Mediterranean Sea and, after meeting the Su-30SMs departed from Latakia, launched some ALCMs (Air Launched Cruise Missiles). Then, they entered the Syrian airspace and returned home via the eastern corridor: Iraq-Iran-Caspian Sea. A 13,000km journey.

On the same day, Su-34 Fullbacks launched 16 sorties against ground targets in Syria taking off from Krimsk airbase, in Russia.

Interestingly, during their transit across Middle East, the Russian strategic bombers were escorted by Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-14 Tomcat, Mig-29 Fulcrum and F-4 Phantom jets whose prior mission to visually observe activity of Russian bombers inside the Iranian airspace, from their entry point to the exit point.

Military aviation historian and journalist Babak Taghvaee has prepared an interesting infographic that provides lots of details about the Russian strategic bombers missions to Syria as well as about the Iranian chase planes.

Click below for a higher resolution version of the file.

Infographic Russian air strikes in Syria

Image credit: Babak Taghvaee

 

Watch this video of Iranian F-14 Tomcats escorting a Russian Tu-95 bomber during air strike in Syria

Persian Tomcat and Russian Bear fly together during a strike mission against ground targets in Syria.

Something really interesting details have been exposed by the material released by Russia’s MoD lately.

Indeed, as you can see in the video below, IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) F-14 Tomcat interceptors escorted Russian Air Force Tu-95 Bear bombers flying in Iranian airspace during their 9h 30mins missions (from Engels airbase and back, along the Iraq-Iran-Caspian Sea 6,500 km-long corridor) against terrorist targets in Syria.

F-14 IRIAF escort Tu-95 composite

With the U.S. Navy retiring the legendary F-14 in September 2006, nowadays the IRIAF is the only operator of the Tomcat, a type of aircraft that Tehran has kept airworthy throughout the years in spite of the embargo imposed after the 1979 Revolution.

Not only did the Iranians keep some F-14s in active service but they have also upgraded it with some domestic avionics upgrades and weapons that should extend the life of the last flying Tomcats until 2030.

Photos of World’s last active service F-14 Tomcat jets overhauled in Iran

The Iranian Air Force is the last operator of the legendary F-14 Tomcat.

The photos in this article were recently released by FARS News Agency.

They show some Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force F-14 Tomcat jets be overhauled at an unspecified location (Tehran Mehrabad International Airport according to some sources).

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Iran still operates some Tomcats that are being modernized to F-14AM (“Modernized”) standard to extend their operative life until 2030. Domestic upgrades include avionics (radar and RWR) and weapons: R-73E, AIM-54A, AIM-7E and AIM-9J are among the air-to-air missiles adapted to the aircraft’s fire control system.

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The Iranian Tomcats can also carry the AIM-54A+ “Fakour-90” missile: a domestically upgraded, partially reverse engineered version of the famous AIM-54 Phoenix long range missile of the U.S. Navy F-14s.

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The IRIAF F-14s are also being given a three-tone Asian Minor II camouflage pattern loosely resembling the “splintered” one adopted by Russian 4th and 5th generation fighter planes and U.S. Aggressors.

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Tehran is believed to operate a fleet of about 60 F-14s even if the number of combat capable aircraft is unknown. According to some rumors, there would be plans to use the Tomcat in the air-to-ground role as well.

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Anyway, in some way or another one Tehran managed to keep the F-14s airworthy, a significant achievement considered the embargo on Iran and the consequent lack of spare parts for the Tomcats.

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Image credit: FARS News agency

H/T to user “ASFTD” on ACIG forum for the heads-up

 

Video shows Iranian Aircraft buzz U.S. Navy Destroyer, warn it to leave exercise area in Strait of Hormuz

Footage shows Iranian Naval Aviation Fokker 27 warn a U.S. Navy destroyer to leave training area

Several aircraft belonging to the the Iranian Air Force, Navy and Army are currently taking part in Joint Exercise “Mohammad Rasullollah.”

During the drills, Tehran’s maritime patrol aircraft overflying the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman have had some close encounters with U.S. Navy and UAE vessels operating in the same waters.

According to Iranian defense expert Babak Taghvaee, a very well-known author of several publications about the Iranian air forces and a regular contributor to some of the most read aviation magazines, the first such encounters occurred on Dec. 25 and 26 when the foreign vessels were spotted by an IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) P-3F serialled 5-8706.

On Dec. 28, an Iranian Naval Aviation’s Fokker 27-400M, serialled 5-2601, carrying journalists “buzzed” the U.S. Navy’s USS Gridley (DDG-101), a Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. Footage of the flybys conducted by the Iranian plane close to the American warship including radio communications was later released by FARS News Agency.

Similar encounters occur quite frequently in those waters and are almost routine: you can find several images showing Iranian, Russian or U.S. maritime patrol aircraft overflying foreign ships in the high seas all around the world.

Furthermore, foreign warships cross Iranian territorial waters in the Straits of Hormuz when entering the Persian Gulf, that’s why they are often “inspected” by Iranian Air Force and Navy planes.

Still, the footage in this post is particularly interesting as it is one of the few (if not the only) to let you hear the (quite polite) messages exchanged between the Iranian patrol aircraft and the U.S. warship.

H/T to Babak Tagvaee and ACIG.info for the heads-up. Footage, FARS via B. Tagvaee.