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PeeD

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With the now in service Khordad 15, Third of Khordad, Bavar-373 and a slew of AD/SHORAD systems: where exactly does Iran stand in a fight against regional powers? -- emphasis being on possible conflict the U.S. military.

I think we can safely say that Iran absolutely does not plan on building any sort of near-pear or even adjacent symmetrical Air force capability that rivals its neighbors toe-to-toe due to cost and the looming threat of obliteration from newer generation HGVs and the like. Iran acquiring a smaller amount of modern air-craft that are multi-role and can fulfill certain defense/offense requirements without straining the national defense budget is in my view an absolute must.

The Aerospace missile force still caries Iran's primary means of attacking back and has proven itself (at least somewhat) to be an effective method of attack in practice although the tactical viability of the force still is in question due there not being a active conflict to test them out in full.

We can only wait and see on how Iran wants to move forward regarding it air-power. Honestly I would be okay with a small acquisition of some sort of Multi-role air-craft.
A fleet of 60 Su-35 would act as a catalyst for Irans IADS. At that number, real added value.

A fleet of 250 Su-57 would only drain money from missile and air defense projects.

A fleet of 300 5th Gen. Iranian fighters built from 2030-2040 could be justified and create a expeditionary force capability for Iran as well as advance the overall industry.
 

TheImmortal

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F-22's only advantage is in stealth performance. This comes at a 4-5x higher cost compared to the Su-57.

Su-57 is a balanced design, alone its kinematic performance (with its final engines) makes up for the somewhat lower LO performance. As weapon system its superior due to cost-effect.

I agree. However, your rebuttal merely serves my point in that SU-57 is more a defense fighter jet rather than a fighter jet ment to penetrate foreign airspace and cause havoc.


Turkey is not a strategic nation. They are trying but still no problem fur Russia. Iran has clear strategic ambitions and works toward it.


Sir, you sell a weapon now and you don’t know when it will bite you in the ***. Did US ever think that selling F-14 to Iran in ‘79 would come to bite them for next 40 years? Did North Korea ever think selling SCUDs to Iran would lead to the biggest missile power in the Middle East?

Russians have cost efficient airpower.
Iran could have sent drones and many F-5 and F-4. But that would be stupid as they are not replaceable and prone to attacks by Israel, Turkey and the U.S.

Iranian F-5 and F-4 cannot handle a 150-200 daily sortie rate stress on their airframes. Even assuming they wouldn’t be attacked by foreign adversaries or that it wouldn’t lead to other adversaries to bring their own airforce into Syria theater, Iran’s F-5s and F-4s are not made for heavy constant sortie counts this far into their life cycle. They are basically reserve assets to use in an all out war.

So in fact it was the low cost operation and Russias heavy strategic weight that allowed it.

Also please don't compare Iran-Iraq war to a modern war involving Iran.

Air superiority fighters will always be needed. Wether it’s 1920 1979 or 2020 or 3020.

Plus: How do you want to handle new U.S hypersonic stand-off weapons in future? Their main purpose is to take out the non-hardened airbases.
IRGC is dead right to view airpower as nonstarter against a power like the U.S.

With such logic your AD fleet would also be toast as Hypersonic missiles would destroy major radar Installations and defense batteries that simply do not have the Kinetic energy penalty to be able to intercept a Hypersonic missile either in the atmosphere or during terminal phase. let’s not go down that rabbit hole, shall we?

But to answer your question it’s simple: mountain air bases. Iran can have 75 air superiority fighters scattered inside mountain air bases that each hold up 12-25 fighters which take off and land and are well fortified. If it can do it for BMs it can do it for airplanes.

The concept is not unheard of. Even in WW2 airplanes were stored in underground bunkers to protect against air threats.

Again Iran doesn’t need to store ALL of its 200-300 aircraft. But the air superiority ones can be well fortified to assist the AD network during the war. Again the goal of Iran airforce is to prevent complete collapse of AD network, it’s not ment to fly into other countries and do bombing runs.



Come on, in modern war situation no Boing is flying around, nor is the IRIAF operation in areas were "legacy" IRGC AD systems operate.

The point remains an IRGC AD team thought a CM made it all the way to Tehran from the PG.

Iran is building an automated IADS to avoid such incompetence.

Still won’t be enough.

Me neither: Iran is not Russia, it lacks the numbers for now. What will happen is rather that stand-alone IRGC 3rd Khordad drive out of warehouses and shot at enemy airpower at opportunity.

Are there going to be warehouses in the desert, mountains and rural areas? Modern fighter jets release payloads from up to 150KM away. No fighter jet needs to fly over cities or developed areas unless absolutely required to do so. If you are relying on ADs systems hiding in warehouses to thwart the enemy you have already lost the air space.

It will create a situation where enemy airpower is not sure whether the area is secure or not.
This uncertainty will screw their planning, sortie rate and so on.
CMs will impact in Tehran deep inside the country. Only Russia level IADS and maybe Chinese can create really secure spheres.

But Iran will get there sooner or later.

wether Iran gets there or doesn’t is irrelevant as every major power will field manned aircraft well into the future because EW is much harder with a human inside the cockpit. So the decision you are making is to rely entirely on AD systems to hold the line. Too dangerous.



Now Iran maybe enemies with Israel today, but it was friends with Israel in ‘79. The world changes rapidly friends of today are enemies tomm. Iran cannot base its entire strategy on “AirPower is useless because US #1 why should we bother” with that logic why build a Navy or destroyers? US is #1 Navy power and would crush Iran Navy in heart beat. So the logic doesn’t hold. You may be inferior today but who knows where you are in 50 years. Maybe US empire has collapsed and the new adversary is China or Turkey. So you don’t make strategic decisions based on next 10 years.

My response in red
 

TheImmortal

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A fleet of 60 Su-35 would act as a catalyst for Irans IADS. At that number, real added value.

A fleet of 250 Su-57 would only drain money from missile and air defense projects.

A fleet of 300 5th Gen. Iranian fighters built from 2030-2040 could be justified and create a expeditionary force capability for Iran as well as advance the overall industry.
First you say air force is not needed and useless against #1 USA. Now you say “300 5th gen Iranian fighters can be justified”. Why because it’s “Iranian”? You are either for air power or you are against. It either fits in your over arching defense philosophy or it doesn’t. You can’t cherry pick.

300 Iranian 5th gen fighters isn’t going to magically be cheap. It will be cheaper than Russian and Chinese fighters, but the infrastructure for such a project will drain considerable resources and manpower.

In the meantime, a stop gap is needed (which I have repeatedly said) of Russian jets. I am not sure where you got 250 SU-57 from as that’s an absurd number. Nonetheless 48-60 SU-57 to cover the retiring(storage) of F-14 fleet and providing back up to SU-30 fleet would be a sound investment.

My stop gap proposal is:

60-84 SU-30/35 fighter jets (even SU-27 with ToT is better In long run for Iran then SU-30/35 buying from Russian factory)
48-60 SU-57 fighter jets

This would cover Iranian Air Force well through 2045-2050. It would give Iranian airforce plenty of time to learn and build upon the best Russian fighter jets (especially if Iran plans to unveil a AL family reverse engineered engine in the future).

I do not share your optimistic timeline for Iranian 5th gen fighter. It will likely take longer to build a decent aircraft design and mass production starting in 2030 seems optimistic given current economic conditions on Iran as well as given no breakthrough heavy engine to speak of.
 

triangle

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But to answer your question it’s simple: mountain air bases. Iran can have 75 air superiority fighters scattered inside mountain air bases that each hold up 12-25 fighters which take off and land and are well fortified. If it can do it for BMs it can do it for airplanes.

The concept is not unheard of. Even in WW2 airplanes were stored in underground bunkers to protect against air threats.

Again Iran doesn’t need to store ALL of its 200-300 aircraft. But the air superiority ones can be well fortified to assist the AD network during the war. Again the goal of Iran airforce is to prevent complete collapse of AD network, it’s not ment to fly into other countries and do bombing runs.
They still need large strips to take off and land and with just a handful of these underground bases, it becomes cost efficient to pulverize the strips and entrances of the bases with air launched and sub-launched cruise missiles.

Using highways like Sweden does to resupply and takeoff/land is more survivable.
The best option is VTOL fighters that can take off and land almost everywhere.
 

TheImmortal

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They still need large strips to take off and land and with just a handful of these underground bases, it becomes cost efficient to pulverize the strips and entrances of the bases with air launched and sub-launched cruise missiles.

Using highways like Sweden does to resupply and takeoff/land is more survivable.
The best option is VTOL fighters that can take off and land almost everywhere.
Minimum take off for Su-35 is 550 meters.

Indoor airstrip for taking off and outdoor airstrip for landing.

Airstrips can be repaired. As Syria has shown in many cases in a few hours. CMs do not have enough penetration power to cause extensive repairs as the KE they carry in comparison to say a Qiam BM is much lower due to subsonic speed.
 

PeeD

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@TheImmortal

" I agree. However, your rebuttal merely serves my point in that SU-57 is more a defense fighter jet rather than a fighter jet ment to penetrate foreign airspace and cause havoc. "

The F-22 can get closer to emitters, the Su-57 fly faster and farther, which one is better for penetration?
F-22 penetration of a modern IADS is questionable anyway: Stealth primarily helps it survive air to air engagements.

" Iranian F-5 and F-4 cannot handle a 150-200 daily sortie rate stress on their airframes. Even assuming they wouldn’t be attacked by foreign adversaries or that it wouldn’t lead to other adversaries to bring their own airforce into Syria theater, Iran’s F-5s and F-4s are not made for heavy constant sortie counts this far into their life cycle. They are basically reserve assets to use in an all out war. "

Basically yes, but this would only increase costs and necessary airframe numbers.
F-5 however could handle it, but its armament and speed would make it not effective nor survivable.

" With such logic your AD fleet would also be toast as Hypersonic missiles would destroy major radar Installations and defense batteries that simply do not have the Kinetic energy penalty to be able to intercept a Hypersonic missile either in the atmosphere or during terminal phase. let’s not go down that rabbit hole, shall we? "

If not Hypersonic weapons then CMs. Mobility of AD assets make them survivable, airbases not.


"But to answer your question it’s simple: mountain air bases. Iran can have 75 air superiority fighters scattered inside mountain air bases that each hold up 12-25 fighters which take off and land and are well fortified. If it can do it for BMs it can do it for airplanes.

The concept is not unheard of. Even in WW2 airplanes were stored in underground bunkers to protect against air threats.

Again Iran doesn’t need to store ALL of its 200-300 aircraft. But the air superiority ones can be well fortified to assist the AD network during the war. Again the goal of Iran airforce is to prevent complete collapse of AD network, it’s not ment to fly into other countries and do bombing runs. "

Thats a futuristic concept.
Storing a weapon is not the goal, a weapon must operate during war.
Iran was lucky that the U.S was stopped by the INF treaty, with this gone, even deep central mainbases like Esfahan are at high risk.

But ok, as long as airpower plays a siderole, we can ignore its basing vulnerability.

" The point remains an IRGC AD team thought a CM made it all the way to Tehran from the PG. "

I'm not really a fanboy hence: Yes that fear was justified.
The U.S is is country that has satellites to create a electronic battlefield map: It will find weakspots and send CM, as deep as Tehran area, even on the first night.
Soon hypersonic weapons will add to that, not only air launched but land based ones.

The enemy is not to be underestimated. Any non-hardned static weapon system is at high risk in future and airpower is just that.

" Are there going to be warehouses in the desert, mountains and rural areas? Modern fighter jets release payloads from up to 150KM away. No fighter jet needs to fly over cities or developed areas unless absolutely required to do so. If you are relying on ADs systems hiding in warehouses to thwart the enemy you have already lost the air space. "

Warehouses was and example and yes, there are enough such places all around Iran to hide such a small truck size vehicle like the 3rd Khordad.

Airspace is contested anyway, Iran is not Russia. However when enemy airpower operates at risk, it will degrade lets say 50% of its performance. Just by having 100 3rd Khordad TELARs around the country you degrade 50% of enemy airpower-firepower for the first month: A quite good deal if you ask me.

" wether Iran gets there or doesn’t is irrelevant as every major power will field manned aircraft well into the future because EW is much harder with a human inside the cockpit. So the decision you are making is to rely entirely on AD systems to hold the line. Too dangerous. "

Airpower helps if its cost-effect calculation competes against other concepts.
Iran will get its own airpower at some point for expeditionary purposes.
But is it critical at this point? No.
Even without a AD system, Irans low footprint solid BM force as well as hardened liquid BM force would inflict quite a high amount of damage to any enemy.
Just like IADS is now getting strong, airpower will also come back at some point, its just low on the priority list.

First you say air force is not needed and useless against #1 USA. Now you say “300 5th gen Iranian fighters can be justified”. Why because it’s “Iranian”? You are either for air power or you are against. It either fits in your over arching defense philosophy or it doesn’t. You can’t cherry pick.
No contradiction, just priorities.

In 2030-40 airframe Iran will need to project power, hence a Iranian fighter jet will be needed.
2020, 50 F-14, 20 Mig-29 and 100 F-4E will be sufficient to take the stress on the IADS away.
60 Su-35 would increase that pressure relieve to a good extend.

And yes, because its Iranian: State sponsored industrial development program that could open export markets.

In the meantime, a stop gap is needed (which I have repeatedly said) of Russian jets. I am not sure where you got 250 SU-57 from as that’s an absurd number. Nonetheless 48-60 SU-57 to cover the retiring(storage) of F-14 fleet and providing back up to SU-30 fleet would be a sound investment.
Such a stop gap would be good, not really needed: 300 3rd Khordad TELARs could be a better choice than 60 Su-35.

250 Su-57 was just a IRIAF revival scenario many dream of and a number that could convince the Russians to sell the Su-57.
 

triangle

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Minimum take off for Su-35 is 550 meters.

Indoor airstrip for taking off and outdoor airstrip for landing.

Airstrips can be repaired. As Syria has shown in many cases in a few hours. CMs do not have enough penetration power to cause extensive repairs as the KE they carry in comparison to say a Qiam BM is much lower due to subsonic speed.
You still need an air strip.

Modern cruise missiles can fly through small openings to target the inside of a facility. A 30 meter wide gap in a mountain side will be no problem.

It's very difficult to make an already destitute air force more destitute.

Seeing as a VTOL fighter aircraft is out of reach for Iran, temporary and flexible highway bases is the only survivable way.

Anyway, Iran's BM force will make minced meat out of any regional airpower.
 
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TheImmortal

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You still need an air strip.

Modern cruise missiles can fly through small openings to target the inside of a facility. A 30 meter wide gap in a mountain side will be no problem.
Yes, that’s why I said air strip outside for landing. Indoor airstrip would be for take off and storage.

And this isn’t a Taliban cave. It’s a mountain base. I suggest you educate yourself on Iranian missile bases as they are huge and have multiple blast doors to protect from shockwaves and indoor explosions. There is no “30 foot gap” hole you speak of. Blast doors cover the entrance and through out the tunnel system.
 

triangle

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Yes, that’s why I said air strip outside for landing. Indoor airstrip would be for take off and storage.

And this isn’t a Taliban cave. It’s a mountain base. I suggest you educate yourself on Iranian missile bases as they are huge and have multiple blast doors to protect from shockwaves and indoor explosions. There is no “30 foot gap” hole you speak of. Blast doors cover the entrance and through out the tunnel system.
Underground missile base =/= underground airbase

You still need a takeoff strip without any obstacles (read: blast doors) for lets say 550 meters for an Su-35 which you claim. Sure you can cover the entrance with a huge blast door, but you still need an opening which the plane flies through which exposes the runway for the entire 550 meter.

There is no way any blast door can survive and still work against multiple direct CM hits. And such a blast door is so heavy and cumbersome that it takes a long time to open and close, which will severely hinder sortie rates. Not to mention any repairs or replacement that needs to be done on such a blast door.

And you still need an exposed airstrip to land. How is that going to survive a pulverization attack by cruise missiles and a subsequent antipersonnel mine spreading cruise missile to hinder any repair.

Good luck taking off through a 30 foot gap
 
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Blue In Green

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You still need an air strip.

Modern cruise missiles can fly through small openings to target the inside of a facility. A 30 meter wide gap in a mountain side will be no problem.

It's very difficult to make an already destitute air force more destitute.

Seeing as a VTOL fighter aircraft is out of reach for Iran, temporary and flexible highway bases is the only survivable way.

Anyway, Iran's BM force will make minced meat out of any regional airpower.
If Iran's impressive sprawling underground missile bases are anything to go by then TheImmortal's suggestion for Iran to house its yet to be acquired air-superiority fighters in mountainous underground bases is not a bad idea, and is something that Iran has the engineering capability to do.

Main issue here isn't capability but cost and time. Iran doesn't have the luxury to spend copious amounts of money on such a project like this given just how deep they've delved into building the one of the worlds most lethal and survivable conventional missile forces. It would take quite a bit of man-hours and money to build such hard static assets. I just don't see Iran going that way in the near future, although it is a good idea in theory.
 

Blue In Green

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Underground missile base =/= underground airbase

You still need a takeoff strip without any obstacles (read: blast doors) for lets say 550 meters for an Su-35 which you claim. Sure you can cover the entrance with a huge blast door, but you still need an opening which the plane flies through which exposes the runway for the entire 550 meter.

There is no way any blast door can survive and still work against multiple direct CM hits. And such a blast door is so heavy and cumbersome that it takes a long time to open and close, which will severely hinder sortie rates. Not to mention any repairs or replacement that needs to be done on such a blast door.

And you still need an exposed airstrip to land. How is that going to survive a pulverization attack by cruise missiles and a subsequent antipersonnel mine spreading cruise missile to hinder any repair..
Wouldn't Iran be relying more on the "covert" nature of such an air-base given its location in a mountainous area? I guess the IADS would help cover the base somewhat against CM attacks and if manages to produce/purchase a hefty amount of SHORADS/CIWS then the survivability of such a base is more?
 

triangle

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Wouldn't Iran be relying more on the "covert" nature of such an air-base given its location in a mountainous area? I guess the IADS would help cover the base somewhat against CM attacks and if manages to produce/purchase a hefty amount of SHORADS/CIWS then the survivability of such a base is more?
The idea of a survivable and cost-effective underground airbase is unrealistic, especially for Iran. By the nature of such a facility there are going to be huge weakspots, much bigger than an underground missile base. Iran doesn't need such facilities.
 

Blue In Green

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The idea of a survivable and cost-effective underground airbase is unrealistic, especially for Iran. By the nature of such a facility there are going to be huge weakspots, much bigger than an underground missile base. Iran doesn't need such facilities.
Yeah, I thought as much lol.

The one thing about air-power that acts as its greatest achilles heal has nothing to do with the air-craft itself. It's everything else that's associated with it to make it run properly, that's the key weakness. Air-base, hangar, run-ways, fuel, ammunitions etc... It's just so much infrastructure that can't be adequately protected from enemy CM attacks.

I'm with PeeD on this one as well, BMs are much more survivable than air-craft but air-craft have a place in Iran's overall military strategy.
 

PeeD

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Irans missiles cities are made to be totally demolished at their entrances, yet still dig out and continue launches. No runways, no foreign object damage...

A futuristic underground airbase could get its entrance opening masked by rock formations, so that only one approach direction is possible for aircrafts and impacting weapons.

When attack vectors are restricted to a single one, defense becomes easier. Multiple CIWS could cost effectively protect the entrance against that single vector.

It would be like an automated landing on a carrier, preferably with catapult and a catching system.

Iran has the geography for this. Question is the cost efficiency.

Fully protected runway, fuel and ammunition depot, maintenance hangars.
Maybe for hypersonic 6th generation fighters, but of course this would be in a distant future.
 

Saleh99

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Guys, did iran manufacture Laser guided bombs like paveway series? Also targeting pods for its jets?
 

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