Held on April 17 or 18, Iran’s Army Day Parades have always provided the best opportunity for analysts to evaluate the readiness of the Iranian Air Force. Babak Taghvaee provides an insight to the event held since 1979.
At 0900hrs on April 18, 2023, 26 aircraft of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) and 54 helicopters of the Islamic Republic of Iran Army Aviation (IRIAA) flew over south Tehran as part of the Army Day parade.
Compared to last year, IRIAF had significantly increased the number of aircraft participating. Unfortunately, a significant decrease in airworthy F-14A Tomcat fighter jets, due to the plan to replace them with Su-35SEs, meant they were not included.
Preparing for the parade
At last year’s event just five aircraft participated – a F-5F Tiger, F-5E Saeqeh, MiG-29UB Fulcrum-B, F-4E Phantom, and a F-14A Tomcat – flying in formation over Tehran. It drew a lot of criticism because for decades air force flypasts have always been performed with an average of 40 aircraft.