Jul 3, 2014

Iraq's Latest Su-25s Come From Iran

The latest delivery of Russian-made Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force originated from Iran, according to the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS). The close-air support and ground attack aircraft are using the same serial numbers used by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which operate the aircraft.
In a video posted by the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, the aircraft appeared with wing-mounted fuel tanks; the Russian-supplied aircraft were disassembled and flown into Iraq.
Iranian Su-25s have been assigned a narrow range of six-digit serial numbers, all with the prefix 15-245x, with the last two digits repeated on the aircraft nose. While the full serial numbers are not present, the three individual examples identified on the video each featured two-digit numbers on their nose. Two are coded 51 and 56, while 58 is visible on the sole Su-25UB, correlating with identified Iranian numbering.
The camouflage scheme visible on the three aircraft is also identical to that currently applied to Iranian Su-25s, a scheme not adopted by any other operators.
These aircraft are externally in much better condition relative to that of the recently delivered Russian Su-25s thought to be drawn from storage.
Although these aircraft were likely delivered to Iraq by Iranian pilots, it is unclear who will now be responsible for crewing and maintaining them.
It seems increasingly unlikely that Iraq retains the capacity to operate this type of aircraft in any significant number without some level of external support.

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