Skip to comments.Moscow Preparing for Big Defense Business with Tehran
Posted on 12/20/2016 5:28:48 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
While awaiting new combat jets from abroad, Iran innovates domestically, such as by reverse-engineering the Northrop F-5 as the Saeqeh, on display for the first time. (Photo: Reuben F. Johnson)
Russias readiness to become the major weapons supplier to Iran was indicated by the eighth international airshow, held recently by the Iranian government on Kish Island. Russias aerospace industrial companies were all present at the event for the first time. Nothing official was said during the show, but the clear signal was that they are preparing for the day when the easing of international trade sanctions allows them to do business openly and directly with Tehran.
The uptick in the number of firms wanting to be present at the Iran Air Show is prompted by the assumption that a final conclusion and implementation of the U.S.-Iran nuclear agreement will end the Islamic states isolation from the rest of the world. Right now, all we are offering are commercial aircraft and the products that go with them, said a representative from Russias Unified Aircraft-Building Corporation. At the moment we are not allowed to exhibit defense products. But the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) Sukhoi Su-27 demonstration team, the Russian Knights, performed every day. This was the first time that Russia had shown any of its combat aircraft at this expo.
Even now, there are consistent reports about a deal between Russia and Iran that would involve the license-production of a large number of a variant of the Sukhoi Su-30MK fighter in Irans aerospace factories. Russian representatives have made no specific statements in public about this potential contract, but the Iranian defense minister, General Hossein Dehghan, has confirmed that an agreement is imminent. There have evidently been positive bilateral discussions on technology transfer and industrial participation.
At previous shows on Kish Island, an impressive number of Iranian firms showed that they have considerable engineering expertise in designing new platforms. They also demonstrated that they have developed skills in keeping their aging fleets of U.S.-made military hardware functioning, without any official support from or access to spare parts from the OEMs.
Fourteen years later, these Iranian firms show the same talents and are engaged in an equally impressive number of developmental projects. They include continuing development of the Shafaq basic jet trainer by the Aerospace Industries Organisation (AIO). The aircraft is in the same class as the Leonardo M-346 or the Chinese-built Hongdu L-15, and was designed partially with assistance from the Mikoyan Design Bureau from the late 1990s. The Shafaq is fitted with one of the MiG-29s Klimov/Sarkisov RD-33 engines.
One of AIOs previous projects was on display for the first time at this years show. The reverse-engineered version of the Northrop F-5 fighter, the Saeqeh, was on the static display line and also flew. This aircraft resembles the original F-5, except that the single vertical tail is replaced by two outwardlycanted vertical control surfaces.
Iranian industry also continues to develop a series of UAVs that can be used for different military applications. Almost all of the previous models were almost designed for reconnaissance missions, but some of the larger, newer models will be capable of carrying a variety of weapons.
Iran and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) have been defense industrial partners for many years. In the early years after the Islamic Revolution when U.S. embargoes cut off all spare parts and maintenance assistance, Chinese industry was instrumental in showing Iran how to reverse-engineer their own components to keep their Grumman F-14s and other U.S.-made jets operating.
Now the same anticipated end of the embargo regime is prompting Chinese industry to also begin building partnerships in Iran. One of those present at this years show was the China Electronics Technology Corporation (CETC), which is responsible for developing almost all of the PRCs defense electronics and radar systems.
Paid for in part with the wealth that Barry sent their way in his totally one-sided deal, no doubt.
So Putin will fight terrorism and be the big bear...but on the other hand deal arms to Tehran?
I think Congress is trying to re-instate them...but we don't rule the world...and other nations don't have to agree with it.
Both Obama and Putin suck on Iran.
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