From Phantoms to Fulcrums: Iran parades its airpower on Army Day

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.


Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below