'Iran Su-35s acquisition more dangerous than the West perceives': NI

07 Jan 2023

'Iran Su-35s acquisition more dangerous than the West perceives': NI

By Al Mayadeen

January 7, 2023


A report published in The National Interest suggests that Iran's purchase of Russian Su-35s would make Iranian airspace a more pernicious place to operate for enemies.

Iran's potential purchase of dozens of Russian Su-35 aircraft would give an unprecedented boost to Tehran's control over its airspace, especially in case of an aerial military confrontation against the Israeli occupation, an article written by Can Kasapoglu and published in The National Interest reported.

In late December, some reports revealed that Russia will soon be providing Iran with a complete squadron of Su-35 fighters in the near future, marking a new era in Russian-Iranian cooperation as the West keeps trying to isolate the two nations through unilateral sanctions. The Commander of Iran's Army Air Force Hamid Vahedi had announced that Iran is looking at purchasing Russian Su-35 fighter jets.

Despite some Western assessments tending to downplay Iran's potential acquisition of the aircraft, believing that it would not drastically change the airpower balance in the Gulf, the purchase "manifests a grim calculus for the West," the report suggested.

It indicated that "contemporary military transactions between Tehran and Moscow have unveiled a new geopolitical episode," adding that "Washington and its allies are now facing a more aggressive and hostile axis than ever."

The writer described the Su-35 as "a very lucrative catch" for Iran, as the aircraft is "a Russian 4.5th generation air-superiority fighter that has a better thrust-to-weight ratio than its predecessor, the Su-27," explaining that the platform is "capable of performing controlled maneuvers that would otherwise be impossible via regular aerodynamics."

The National Interest report said that although Iran's purchase of the Su-35 alone "would not turn the Middle East’s military balance upside down, it will definitely make Iranian airspace a more pernicious place to operate," especially in the case of what "Israel" calls a preventive strike against Iran's nuclear program.

This is significant because, according to the report, except for "Israel", US allies in the Middle East do not operate fifth-generation stealth tactical aircraft, adding that no expert can claim absolute superiority favoring the 4th and 4.5th Western aircraft against the Su-35.

Touching on a hypothetical so-called Israeli "preventive" strike against Iran and a confrontation between the Israeli F-35I and Iranian Su-35, the writer believes that "Israel will have a very limited, if any, chance for dispatching combat search and rescue missions in hostile Iranian territory."

According to the writer, "given the military-geostrategic imperatives, Israeli aircraft will not have all the time in the world to accomplish their missions" and head back to its bases, as Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps "would be after every single Israeli pilot to gain political leverage."

In other words, "Israeli F-35Is will have to operate deep in Iranian airspace protected by a network of layered defenses, as well as the Su-35 CAPs," the report said.

In addition to the Su-35, The National Interest report claimed that Iran might be very close to purchasing an S-400 deal, which would "decidedly alter the risk assessment" of an Israeli occupation strike on Iran.

The writer concluded the report by suggesting that Iran's "Su-35 procurement is not only a defense deal but also a strategic manifestation, proving the bitter cost of appeasement and naivety [of the West]."