Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs at the IRIAF’s Forward Operating Base in Birjand

Babak Taghvaee reports on the Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs at the IRIAF’s Forward Operating Base in Birjand

On April 26, 2022, two F-5E Tiger II jets of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) made a sonic boom over Islam Qalah, a city in Afghanistan’s Herat province, near the Dogharoun border with Iran.

This was a show of force to the Taliban, which had deployed hundreds of its fighters including multiple motorcycle-riding suicide bombers to Iran's borders with Herat. The dispute had started three days earlier due to the construction work by the Taliban on a road at the border. It comes off the back of soured relations between Afghanistan and Iran that go back many years.

Three F-5E Tiger IIs – from front to back, serials 3-7343, 3-7345 and 3-7327 – can be seen armed with live armaments at Mashhad FOB. Ali Namazi


History of IRIAF’s 12th Tactical Fighter Base

On April 27 and 28, 1978, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) overthrew Gen Mohammed Daoud Khan, the first President of Afghanistan, during a coup d'état backed by the Soviet Union and carried out with the assistance of  Soviet armed forces. The so-called Saur Revolution or April Coup, led to a long-lasting war in Afghanistan but, before that, it triggered a security alarm in Tehran.


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