Running on Empty: How budget cuts have damaged Iranian Naval Aviation 

Repeated budget cuts have had a drastic impact on Iranian Naval Aviation, as Babak Taghvaee discovers.

Once one of West Asia’s largest and most potent naval forces, the Iranian Navy currently lacks modern equipment, including helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. As the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has priority when it comes to Iran's annual defense budgets, the Iranian Navy has faced a lack of funding, making it difficult to maintain and operate the existing fleet of 33 helicopters, eight aircraft, and nine hovercraft of its Navy Aviation (IRINA). Today, only 16 helicopters, five aircraft, and three hovercraft are operational simultaneously in the force.


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