Israel is looking into reports that Russia plans to sell 250 advanced long-range Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to Iran in an unprecedented billion-dollar deal.
According to reports, in addition to the fighter jets, Teheran also plans to purchase a number of aerial fuel tankers that are compatible with the Sukhoi and capable of extending its range by thousands of kilometers. Defense officials said the Sukhoi sale would grant Iran long-range offensive capabilities.
IntelliBriefs says that Israel and the US complained about the sale, but I’m not sure what there is to worry about, unless it is also selling Russian jet pilots to go along with these sophisticated planes. Iran is having a hard time keeping up its infrastructure and it got rid of all those superbly trained pilots a generation ago. Does the billion dollar price tag include personnel or training for the two aircraft?
The Sukhoi-30 is a two-seat multi-role fighter jet and bomber capable of operating at significant distances from home base and in poor weather conditions. The aircraft enjoys a wide range of combat capabilities and is used for air patrol, air defense, ground attacks, enemy air defense suppression and air-to-air combat.
Like the sale of the jdams to Saudi Arabia by the US, one has to wonder if there are sufficiently-trained personnel capable of using the armaments. We’re not talking IEDs here.
Leaving aside the economics of the situation, would any military readers care to discuss the ramifications of American and Russian sales of military supplies to various factions in the Middle East?
Here’s what one commenter from Eye on the World says:
All the gear, no idea comes to mind.
Saudi Arabia on paper has one of the most formidable armed forces in the world. However they haven’t a clue in how to keep all that equipment in working order.
And as such has one of the most expensive scrap yards in the region.
Iran which acquitted itself very well against Iraq in the air using American planes. Hasn’t the expertise or the pilots (or the fuel) in which to keep such an expensive folly in the air. Let’s be honest here. Any airwave approaching from Iran (or Syria for that matter) will last approximately 2 minutes due to the active nature of the Israeli missile defensive system. (Mind you when Hezbollah flew that UAV over Israel last year it transpired that the Arrow missile system guarding that area had been switched off)
But with Su 30s in Iranian hands I can’t see that happening. Regional defence then yes the plane has the home advantage. Attacking Israel then it will lose big time.
Hat Tip: Kepiblanc
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