MiG-25 vs F-4 in Iran-Iraq war

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I personally will follow logic. Having this type of support constitutes an act of war by Syria on Iraq. Same as Iraqi fighters not taking off from the Arabian Persian Gulf countries (GCC) for operations as mentioned by some of the posts; however, having their support in terms of air space and emergency landings is believable. The other things is that if the F-4s had indeed flown from Syria, their payload would have been much heavier and no need for external fuel tanks. The result would have been more devastating than it was. And as I mentioned before, the claims by the Iranian regime regarding the damage was not in fact that many as told by the pilots.

No matter if they flew from Shahrokhi Air Base "Hamada" or from Syria they will need external fuel tanks, 1st.external fuel tanks will increase the combat radius operation of the aircraft, Second thing extra fuel will gives the pilot more flexibility to maneuver during the attack. Three since their target inside enemy territory pilot must expect two things once he will be intercepted or hit by enemy gun fire therefore he must keep the wings and body fuel at lest to exit point from the target and this condition can not be achieved unless there is external fuel tanks thrown before or after pounce on the target.
I confirm to you the Iranian F-4's took off from Al Qamishli-Syria to attack H3 Airbase and they did back to land at Al Qamishli as well.

You mentioned previously that the IRIAF could not utilize the F-14 at the beginning of war due to lack of expertise, while there are at least two claims of F-14 kills early in the war.
1) If IRIAF could not use the F-14s because of lack expertise, then how did Iraq shoot down two F-14s early in the war.
2) If IRIAF lacked the expertise, then how could they utilize the F-14s at all since there were no support from the United States.

Yes that's right, but that doesn't mean Iranian didn't fly the F-14's early in the war at all in particular the first few weeks of the period before and after the war started they had some activities but when they lost three F-14's "such unique and expensive aircraft" in short period of time i think the Iranians have decided to withdrawal the plane near the most vital and important targets better than putt it in confrontation lines and this explains clearly why Iranian Air Force turned to defense over offensive during the war.

The story about Mercedes Benz I have also heard. Here is the Iranian F-14 story from Defence.pk: http://defence.pk/threads/iriaf-war-stories.324164/

This story does not have any basis of reality.
1.President Saddam did not appear on the TV screen and announces Mercedes Benz awards for each pilot shot down F-14's (Who claims this story let him prove the video).
2.The Mercedes Benz wasn't only to Iraqi air force members also Navy officers and Army Aviation received Mercedes cars such a bounty.
The awards was as the following:
A.Soldier or Sargent (dead or prisoners or missing) his family received Toyota Crown or Mitsubishi Gallant.
B.Army and Navy officers early of the war received Chevrolet Malibu or Toyota crown super saloon or Volkswagen Passat later Mercedes Benz and Celebrity or Oldsmobile to Republican Guard.
C.Pilots and Army Aviation Mercedes Benz or Toyota crown super saloon plus Breitling watches.
So nothing related between these awards and shooting down the Iranian F-14's, the SU-22 and Mirage F-1s ground attack squadron the most pilots who had received Mercedes Benz even some of them received twice.
3.The combat sorties to Strait of Hormuz carried out in limited missions no pilot or any Iraqi aircraft were lost in any of these mission at all, and didn't record any engagements or exposure with any Iranian aircraft.
4.The story contradicts itself and denies itself at the same time:
A.The Exocest anti-ship missile can fired from 35Km range.
B.The Mirage F-1EQ5 radar detect Naval targets up to 120km.
C.As the story clime (U.S Navy assist the Iraqi fighters by providing information about the IRIAF activities as well as offering a barrier by positioning their ships between the two approaching air forces, threatening the Iranian fighters that they were approaching U.S. Navy warships) in this case the Iraqi Mirage pilots have all good information and they can fire the Exocest anti-ship missile even before the Iranian F-14 scramble and take off!
D.If the U.S Navy were assist Iraqis why they hit USS stark mistakenly?
E.Each pilot know very well his aircraft combat radius operation and this is sea no adventure whether there is enemy aircraft or not...
F.The combat sorties to Strait of Hormuz carried out to destroy Iranian oil floating dock Seawise giant after Iranians fled from their islands such Khark and Lavan and Siri because Iraqi Mirage was attacking oil tankers and these islands each time see any activity appear on it, so isn't better to chase Iraqi aircraft and shot it down on these islands at first before let them reaching Strait of Hormuz (what i mean is: where the Iranian F-14's of protect these islands appears only in Hormuz?).
*Neka Power Plant:The TOT was 1558

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unlike iranians and Tom Cooper, Iraqis weren't particularly obsessed by F14s. in fact from the iraqi perspective the main things they speak mostly of are:

F4 phantoms
baseej
Hawk missiles

iranian tanks, F14s etc... never made a "positive" impression on Iraqis.

in fact those old Mercedes (180 I think) are even called "pilots edition" in Iraq. They were indeed very numerous, and completely disconnected from any overt association in particular with F14s... with which there were very few incidents anyway, considering the war lasted for 8 years.

Forget about Tom Cooper and do an online search about F-14s during Iran Iraq war. Most sites concede to the effectiveness of this fighter during the war

with regards to air supremacy, neither side had air supremacy nor made particularly effective use of airpower. In theory Iraq could have used Iran's weakness to make strategic assaults to weaken Iran's infrastructure by the mid to late 80s... but they never did. a few attacks here and there in a piecemeal fashion. Iran rarely penetrated Iraqi air space and had little effect on the ground war on the front.

My friend, your posts are conflicted. On one hand you claim that Iraqi flew Hundreds of Thousands of sorties while on the other hand you say neither side made effective use of air power. Forget about Iran, with the above you are stating that the Iraqi air force was completely incompetent in using its planes as it flew hundreds of thousands of sortie!! If the air power was of no use, why would the Iraqi bother to fly this many sorties?!!

for both countries, helicopters played the most useful role in the war in supporting their respective ground forces. and from the Iraqi side, the MiG21, SU-25 and PC7s.
and also you say Iranian Tanks, F-14s etc . . . never made a positive impression on Iraqis
So it seems Iranians used mainly helicopters, F-4s and Baseej (inexperienced volunteers used in human wave attacks with great loss) to fight with the Iraqis? All of these statements show how the Iraqi Armed Forces was incompetent in battling with Iran (something that is far from the truth!!) and a war that took almost 8years with no gains for the Iraqis at the end!

Iran's air defences were so weak that by Spring 1988 Iraq was using Il-76 freighters to bomb inside Iran with pallet bombs. that would have been easy meat if Iraqis had "feared" the F14 surely... but then again, the Iraqis never had the courage to go "deeper" and more intensive in their assaults in the fear of racking up losses. it was very much a war where each side calculated to minimise asset losses, and thus aircraft played a secondary role for both sides.


Again, if the F-14s weren't effective and the Iranian air defense were weak (which compare to Iraq was true), why didn't Iraq use its air power? During the war, Iraq kept purchasing fighters replenishing its air force and by the end of the Iran Iraq war, its number of planes were at least twice as many as when the war broke out with Iran. So why purchase these air crafts? Air supremacy in every war plays the major role. Your comments are full of contradictions.

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No matter if they flew from Shahrokhi Air Base "Hamada" or from Syria they will need external fuel tanks, 1st.external fuel tanks will increase the combat radius operation of the aircraft, Second thing extra fuel will gives the pilot more flexibility to maneuver during the attack. Three since their target inside enemy territory pilot must expect two things once he will be intercepted or hit by enemy gun fire therefore he must keep the wings and body fuel at lest to exit point from the target and this condition can not be achieved unless there is external fuel tanks thrown before or after pounce on the target.
I confirm to you the Iranian F-4's took off from Al Qamishli-Syria to attack H3 Airbase and they did back to land at Al Qamishli as well.

If flying from Hamadan they need both external fuel tanks and air refueling to fly the mentioned route. As for flying from Al Qamishli in Syria, the F-4s still don't require external fuel tanks because of the short distance. Second, how does external fuel tanks help maneuverability?!! Fighters usually drop fuel tanks when engaged in combat. The only benefit of external fuel tank is to increase combat radius as you said which in this case it is not needed. Third, why fly from Qamishli when they can fly from Deir Zur? I will not even ask how did the F-4s get to Syria in the first place as well as the pre-flight maintenance and ordinance required in a base to prep the fighters!!!

Yes that's right, but that doesn't mean Iranian didn't fly the F-14's early in the war at all in particular the first few weeks of the period before and after the war started they had some activities but when they lost three F-14's "such unique and expensive aircraft" in short period of time i think the Iranians have decided to withdrawal the plane near the most vital and important targets better than putt it in confrontation lines and this explains clearly why Irai think the Iranians have decided to withdrawal the plane near the most vital and important targetsnian Air Force turned to defense over offensive during the war.
I still do not understand if they didn't have the expertise, what use was flying the F-14s in the first place if they could fly it all as you say?! Unless they were able to fly but not able to use the Phoenix missiles which raises the same question why fly them in the first place if no weapons available?!! And your analysis is interesting here, ". . . Iranians have decided to withdrawal the plane near the most vital and important targets . . . Because they lacked expertise in using the F-14 and because they lost 3 F-14s early in the war, they decided to use the F-14s to protect ". . most vital and important targets. . "? Well that makes complete sense my friend!! :eagerness:

This story does not have any basis of reality.
1.President Saddam did not appear on the TV screen and announces Mercedes Benz awards for each pilot shot down F-14's (Who claims this story let him prove the video).
Whether on TV or not it doesn't make a difference. You yourself said that Saddam offered Mercedes Benz to pilots who shot down F-14s in your post!!! "the exact number of Iranian F-14's losses in aerial combat was 16 aircraft this figure was listed in Iraqi AF movements/duties files and reference to honor the pilots in brave medals and awards such as Mercedes cars therefore the matter is not only claims." And my friend, it is claims and considered as Iraqi claims!!! :)
2.The Mercedes Benz wasn't only to Iraqi air force members also Navy officers and Army Aviation received Mercedes cars such a bounty.
The awards was as the following:
A.Soldier or Sargent (dead or prisoners or missing) his family received Toyota Crown or Mitsubishi Gallant.
B.Army and Navy officers early of the war received Chevrolet Malibu or Toyota crown super saloon or Volkswagen Passat later Mercedes Benz and Celebrity or Oldsmobile to Republican Guard.
C.Pilots and Army Aviation Mercedes Benz or Toyota crown super saloon plus Breitling watches.
So nothing related between these awards and shooting down the Iranian F-14's, the SU-22 and Mirage F-1s ground attack squadron the most pilots who had received Mercedes Benz even some of them received twice.
Good for them!!! I never mentioned the Car Reward issue! You brought it up and I just posted a story that considered Mercs for pilots shooting down F-14s, confirming your statement!! Also, in response to Sheytankabir, I did emphasize that maybe Mercs were offered for other achievements as well and not only shooting down F-14s as you mentioned.
3.The combat sorties to Strait of Hormuz carried out in limited missions no pilot or any Iraqi aircraft were lost in any of these mission at all, and didn't record any engagements or exposure with any Iranian aircraft.
Again, this is according to Iraqi claims. I do not reply on Wiki 100%, but it also mentions Iraqi records didn't show any loss of SU-22 during the war with Iran, while we know Iraq had lost SU-22s as well. It is possible do to the fear of the Iraqi commanders from Saddam, they have doctored the documents.
4.The story contradicts itself and denies itself at the same time:
A.The Exocest anti-ship missile can fired from 35Km range.
B.The Mirage F-1EQ5 radar detect Naval targets up to 120km.
I don't understand how the above story contradicts your A & B statement?

C.As the story clime (U.S Navy assist the Iraqi fighters by providing information about the IRIAF activities as well as offering a barrier by positioning their ships between the two approaching air forces, threatening the Iranian fighters that they were approaching U.S. Navy warships) in this case the Iraqi Mirage pilots have all good information and they can fire the Exocest anti-ship missile even before the Iranian F-14 scramble and take off!
Still I don't see a problem. Even U.S. admits in providing information to Iraqi fighters; for instance, contacting patrolling F-14s and advising their location, speed, altitude, etc. on open channel for Iraqi pilots to hear and be aware of their presence. The scrambles would take effect within max 15 minutes or less (cockpit alert) once the Iraqi fighters were detected by ground radar. Also, both sides flew plenty of diversion flights. Yes Iraqi Mirages did fire several anti-ship missiles and performed many anti-ship missions successfully, sinking ships!! It is war, nothing is 100% full proof on either side. The whole point was lessen the attacks and protect the targets which even if you do it by 90%, that means you still lose ships, installations, etc.

D.If the U.S Navy were assist Iraqis why they hit USS stark mistakenly?
Because as you said, mistakes happen! This has no bearing on the above. Iran lost at least TWO F-14s to Iranian SAMs, one in Bushehr and the other by Khark Island defense. Were they enemies?! It is called friendly fire!

E.Each pilot know very well his aircraft combat radius operation and this is sea no adventure whether there is enemy aircraft or not...
Running short on fuel is something normal and has happened for Iranian fighters as well. Of course the pilots know, but when you are engaged in a dogfight, the last thing you look at is the fuel gauge; especially, when it's a single seat fighter!!!

F.The combat sorties to Strait of Hormuz carried out to destroy Iranian oil floating dock Seawise giant after Iranians fled from their islands such Khark and Lavan and Siri because Iraqi Mirage was attacking oil tankers and these islands each time see any activity appear on it, so isn't better to chase Iraqi aircraft and shot it down on these islands at first before let them reaching Strait of Hormuz (what i mean is: where the Iranian F-14's of protect these islands appears only in Hormuz?).
Iranians never fled Khark Island (not sure about Siri or Lavan, but I doubt it was evacuated) and in fact the main oil export terminal has always been Khark Island, which it kept exporting oil until the end of the war despite several attacks by Iraq inflicting damage to its facilities.
One of Iraq's strategies for striking oil tankers or ships was to fly along the coast of Kuwait, KSA, Bahrain, . . . refuel mid air and attack the targets from south to north as Iranian defense was mainly focused for attacks from west. So in this story, the same thing had happened and but instead of heading for the tankers, the head towards the lone F-14. So if refueling was required, then the distance from home base was longer than the mirage's combat radius. Also, when you engage in any dogfight, you burn additional fuel as your power must be maximum and at times use after burner. Moreover, that scramble was for the tanker protection because radar had already picked up the mirages off of south of the Persian Gulf; hence, the cockpit alert. If the target was Khark Island, they would have taken off immediately.

One thing to say is that the IRIAF has never released any official statements or statistics about anything. All these information are coming from war period pilots, which the IRIAF neither confirms nor denies these incidents. Needless to say you can find conflicting accounts from these pilots as well and have to sift through the information to see if you can find the truth, like which F-5 pilot shot the MiG-25. The information is available by the IRIAF, but they never release anything.

*Neka Power Plant:The TOT was 1558

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Second, how does external fuel tanks help maneuverability?!!

Well i thought I've been talk to someone really interested to know the fact and the events of the war, but obviously I wasn't talking with someone same my age!
Distortion of speech or create fallacies will lead only to one way (lack of confidence by others and loss of status).
1.I didn't said external fuel tanks help maneuverability (I said Second thing extra fuel will gives the pilot more flexibility to maneuver during the attack.)
2.**Do not attributed speech to me at all I didn't said

You yourself said that Saddam offered Mercedes Benz to pilots who shot down F-14s in your post!!! "the exact number of Iranian F-14's losses in aerial combat was 16 aircraft this figure was listed in Iraqi AF movements/duties files and reference to honor the pilots in brave medals and awards such as Mercedes cars
I said (the exact number of Iranian F-14's losses in aerial combat was 16 aircraft this figure was listed in Iraqi AF movements/duties files and reference to honor the pilots in brave medals and awards such as Mercedes cars therefore the matter is not only claims.) and these awards also delivered to Navy and Republican Guard officer does that mean they shot down F-14's? or the awards delivered fro their success!?
Good for them!!! I never mentioned the Car Reward issue! You brought it up and I just posted a story that considered Mercs for pilots shooting down F-14s

So you wonder about cars awards? then let me tell you more (some officers received Lands and gold Sword..etc which worthy more than car price), Iraq is rich country they don't need to shot down Iranian F-14 to receive rewards, these rewards delivered for their grate success during the war.
Let me show you something prove to you how the Iraqi air force was superior during Iran-Iraq war and the Iranian air force was powerless.
Each x10 successful sorties the Iraqi pilot receive Medal of Courage now take look to these pilots below and you can guess how many successful mission they have done and how many time Iranian F-14 was paralytic to intercept them!
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Well i thought I've been talk to someone really interested to know the fact and the events of the war, but obviously I wasn't talking with someone same my age!
distortion of speech and create fallacies will lead only to one way lack of confidence by others and loss of status.
1.I didn't said external fuel tanks help maneuverability (I said Second thing extra fuel will gives the pilot more flexibility to maneuver during the attack.)
2.**Do not attributed speech to me at all I didn't said I said (the exact number of Iranian F-14's losses in aerial combat was 16 aircraft this figure was listed in Iraqi AF movements/duties files and reference to honor the pilots in brave medals and awards such as Mercedes cars therefore the matter is not only claims.) and these awards also delivered to Navy and Republican Guard officer does that mean the shot down F-14's? or awards delivered fro their success!?
There is no distortion of speech. I think there is something wrong with your google translator my friend! 1) Extra fuel [tank] does not offer flexibility to maneuver it gives you longer flight time but makes the fighter plane heavier and less maneuverable. 2) I never disputed that Saddam did not give Mercs, land, sword, money, gold to Iraqi troops for achievements. What I am saying is that previously, YOU said pilots were awarded with medals and rewards like Mercs that shot down F-14s. I agree. Not that only gave Mercs to pilots who shot down F-14s. Again, you are the one that brought up the rewards! Anyway, this itself shows that the F-14s were valuable targets and a problem to offer Mercs for any pilot who shoots them down.

So you wonder about cars awards? so let me tell you more some officers received Lands and gold Sword..etc which worthy more than car price, Iraq is rich country they don't need to show don't Iranian F-14 to receive reward, these rewards delivered for their grate success during the war.
I do not wonder at all about car awards!! I take your word for it that Saddam offered rewards for achievement by its troops, Navy, Air Force, Army, etc

Let me show you something prove to you how the Iraqi air force was superior during Iran-Iraq war and the Iranian air force was powerless.
Each 10 successful sorties the Iraqi pilot receive Medal of Courage now take look to these pilots below and you can guess how many successful mission they have done and how many time Iranian F-14 was paralytic to intercept them!

In war you lose some you gain some! The point is with all the issues about Iraq's superiority in air, air defense, land, etc., why the did the war take 8 years, if Iranians were weaker in every aspect?! If the F-14s did nothing and we know F-4s & F-5s are not as effective in aerial combat as the F-14, then Iraq should have ended the war within 6 months after having full air superiority. Again, the above photo is Iraqi claims and can only have merit as much as Iranian claims!! Again, no argument with that!!
Don't trust the google translator to translate effectively!!! ;)

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Again, if the F-14s weren't effective and the Iranian air defense were weak (which compare to Iraq was true), why didn't Iraq use its air power? During the war, Iraq kept purchasing fighters replenishing its air force and by the end of the Iran Iraq war, its number of planes were at least twice as many as when the war broke out with Iran. So why purchase these air crafts? Air supremacy in every war plays the major role. Your comments are full of contradictions.

they did use their aircraft. but not particularly effectively. as to why. it was always down to saddam wanting to minimise potential losses of aircraft, because it was a long drawn out war of attrition.

Also MOST Iraqi sorties were within a short strip along the border. Iranian sorties were far lower even and their deep penetration into Iraqi airspace even rarer.

as for number of missions. like I told you, due to range, and the russian types that predominated in Iraq. number of missions was large. ordnance per mission was always LOW. Iraqi artillery would drop as much ordnance onto Iran in a couple of months, than Iraq's entire war time air ordnance drop onto Iran. I am repeating myself here.

F14 simply was irrelevant in the overall war. The MiG25 was also irrelevant in the overall war. Easy to understand?

as for not listening to "tom cooper" and looking at "other sources" (most others simply base their stories on the Tom Cooper / Farzad Bishop fantasies). It is simply that we know the number of airframes Iraq lost. Other sources simply cannot go HIGHER than that total... and it has to be "divvied up" with other assets that Iran used to bring them down. How come Iraqis seem to be cautious about Hawk SAMs far more than F14? They certainly feared the HAWKs multi-target ability and wished to have an equivelant system throughout the war.

They spent a lot of time and effort acquiring ARMAT, KH28 and other ARM capability and developing medium altitude attack tactics with SEAD / DEAD in order to protect themselves from MiM23 missile batteries. But they did not pay much attention or resources against the F14 "threat".

In reply to your "mercedes thing" ... The Mercedes cars were given to pilots generally. there was NEVER EVER a specific link of car awards to F14s. That is the key difference. The F14 fantasists "claim" that Iraqis wanted to hunt these planes so badly they made an award for shooting one down... not true. You got the award whether you shot down an F14, an F4 or an EC130... or got an Iranian tanker / disabled Khark jetty or a multitude of other things. F14s were "nothing special" from Iraqi perspective. That is the POINT I was bringing across.

with regards to some other things.

Again, this is according to Iraqi claims. I do not reply on Wiki 100%, but it also mentions Iraqi records didn't show any loss of SU-22 during the war with Iran, while we know Iraq had lost SU-22s as well. It is possible do to the fear of the Iraqi commanders from Saddam, they have doctored the documents.

This is completely TRUE. Iraq did NOT lose a single SU-22. They DID however lose many SU-22M / M3 /M4... Don't CONFLAGATE!

finally as to why Iraq didn't win the war in 6 months if hte F14 was ineffective... Because neither air force had much bearing on the outcome of the war! similarly their ballistic missiles were irrelevant.

Iraqi Army was all along the front line (1600km) against an enemy that had 1M km2 strategic depth and 3-4x the population. Iran's capital was 650km away and protected by mountain ranges... Iraq's capital Baghdad was 100km from the border and through an open field with no obstructions...

But you knew that already? The war was a simple grinding land war between entrenched Iraqi lines and periodic Iranian assaults at different points. front lines never moved much and were so long that neither side could marshal enough forces for a decisive break through... however advantage certainly laid with Iran when it came to the following:
1- Geographical (depth of border)
2- Topographic (more defensive land)
3- Population (4x the size of Iraq's)
4- Technology (their air force and army had better technology than Iraq from day 1) - air force had 300x BVR fighters vs Iraq having 0 in 1980-1982, as one poignant example.
5- Economic (Iran could fight the war without resorting to debt) - All of Iraq's ports were blockaded and closed from Day 1 of the war.
6- Centre of power (Tehran was 650km away with mountains in between, protecting it from air and land assaults naturally. Whilst Baghdad being a 100km from the border and with an open field to the border was extremely vulnerable... it was literally 2 hours tank drive away - Baghdad was also far more vulnerable to surprise air attacks... yet despite that it suffered far less).

so despite all advantage being on Iran's side. It never managed to "win". Despite having 300 BVR planes at the beginning of the war, they could not stop Iraqi planes (which were mostly obsolete at that time ... SU-7, Hawker Hunter, MiG21, MiG23BN, Tu16, Tu22) from bombing Iran as deep as tehran regularly. Those Iraqi planes had NOTHING to protect themselves, no ECM, no BVR capable fighters, no AWACS, no SEAD nothing... Just 5-6 Iranian F14s patrolling along the border areas should have decimated the Iraqi Air Force completely had the F14 actually worked, and the Iraqis had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that could stop it. That was 1980-82.

On the ground the Iranians had Chieftains, M60s, M110s etc... versus Iraqi T55 and T62 tanks. They lost every single armoured encounter. But still, the Iraqis never managed to capitalise on their gain... why? because tanks would be regularly sent without infantry on the ground opening them up for guerilla style tactics by baseejis inside Iran (this from my uncle who was on the front line on the 22nd september and drove to Dezful in a T62). Neither side made effective use of their equipment at hand. Both were very cautious and defensive trying to minimise potential for catastrophic losses, and thereby never made the kind of bold manouvers and force concentrations in the air or on land that would have been decisive.

also please try to use quotes correctly.

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they did use their aircraft. but not particularly effectively. as to why. it was always down to saddam wanting to minimise potential losses of aircraft, because it was a long drawn out war of attrition.

Iraq used its air force very effectively; especially, during the last two years and tanker war era. If you are not facing a formidable air force, you take advantage of the situation and gain air superiority. Second, yes it was a long drawn war but unlike Iran, Iraq had no problem in replenishing its aircraft and it did. Iraq's number of aircraft increased more than double at the end of the war compare to the beginning of the war.

F14 simply was irrelevant in the overall war. The MiG25 was also irrelevant in the overall war. Easy to understand?
as for not listening to "tom cooper" and looking at "other sources" (most others simply base their stories on the Tom Cooper / Farzad Bishop fantasies). It is simply that we know the number of airframes Iraq lost. Other sources simply cannot go HIGHER than that total... and it has to be "divvied up" with other assets that Iran used to bring them down. How come Iraqis seem to be cautious about Hawk SAMs far more than F14? They certainly feared the HAWKs multi-target ability and wished to have an equivelant system throughout the war.

That is the whole argument. As I emphasize that F-14 had a major role in shooting Iraqi aircraft during the war; especially, the first two years. The lack of expertise is simply not correct as Iran received its first series of F-14 in January of 1976 and sent its pilots for training to U.S. in mid 1975. Several of these pilots became instructors teaching alongside American instructors from 1976 onward, like Abbas Hazin, Hashem Ale-agha, Farahavar etc. So for three years prior to the revolution, the F-14 pilots were being trained as well as the technicians. Needless to say, the requirement of becoming an F-14 pilot was 1,000hrs of flight time on another fighter like teh F-4 or F-5. So all F-14 pilots were chosen from the elite of the F-4 and F-5 pilots both in US and Iran. You can also check an interesting video by Grumman online regarding the F-14. Below, is another source besides Tom Cooper's fantasy book which I also agree to an extent. Below is also inaccurate in many of the points that I know and I will explain; however, the point of all is that the F-14 played a major role in Iran Air Force, no matter if you go with Cooper's statistics, Websites, Books or below.

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1st name Fazlollah Javidnia has 12 kills attributed to him while he himself only claims 8 Kills during the entire war.
3rd name Fereidoun AliMazandarani has 9 kills attributed to him while he himself claims 6 kills via Phoenix & two via cannon which in at least one although he fired at the MiG-23 but never hit it. In a scissor like dive both fighters head towards the ground but the MiG failed to pull up in time and hit the ground. The Iraqi pilot impressed Mazandarani so much that he requested the ground personnel to find his name, but all that could be found out was his rank, a major, possibly from Al Shoaibiyeh.
2nd name Jalil Zandi known as the best of best in Wiki, his number of kills is questioned. As he died years back in a car accident, the kills cannot be checked with him; however, for several months he was arrested to be executed. In a petition by his fellow comrades dating two years after the war began, it is mentioned that he has shot down ONE aircraft. Knowing that the F-14s most kills were in the first two years of the war, it is highly unlikely that he had managed to score 10 kills after the first two years of the war. Reference for his kills is no other than our friend, Tom Cooper!!!
12th name Masbough is a WSO.
The list is missing two of the other famous ace pilots, Mohammad Farahavar and Asadollah Adeli.
Last but not least among other things, is that at least 185-190 kills are attributed to F-14s and 10-15 to F-4s and F-5s. The total number of aerial kills is around 200 unlike the above which is 250!!!
Bottom line is; although, there are many discrepancies in the number of total kills and kills by each pilot when reviewing different reporst, they all show the effectiveness of the F-14 during the war, whether they shot down 140 or 250.

Will reply the rest later!

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And thats all proof we need that speed is the single most important aspect of a fighter. ;)

There is more to a fighter but speed and altitude is very important in the BVR aspect of a fighter's game, and this goes to prove that the BVR aspect can't be overlooked. Here we have an aircraft that's almost completely useless in a dogfight making a better score than purpose-built dogfighters against similar opposition simply based on hit-and-run tactics facilitated by speed and altitude advantage and perhaps a huge radar too. It was commented in the Dogfights documentary on the Discovery Channel, that 2 of the MiG-25s shot down in Gulf War (1991) could have escaped if they'd wanted to after attacking the F-15s.

Obviously there comes a time where running is not an option, e.g. base defence, strike package defence, CAP, intercepting an attack, etc., which is why an air superiority fighter needs MiG-25/interceptor and dogfighter capabilities, a BVR game and a WVR game.

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Tell you what? why don't relieve yourself and convinced that Iranian F-14 wasn't in the right hands and didn't achieved all this empty claims.
Take look again to the table you will find Super Etendard listed in these claims, while Iraqi air force borrowed five Super Etendard only serial numbers start from 56 to 59 one of these Super Etendard crashed during a training flight at the end of 1983 by knowing of French advisers in Iraq at that day, in November 1984 the 4 Super Etendard return to France.
Egyptian Mirage 5 in the list?! this Mirage come from where and what are doing in Iran-Iraq war?
Fazlollah Javidnia has 12 kills and Jalil Zandi has 11 sound the wieners of cold war period! ok any explanation on how Iraqi aircraft was attacking every single target inside Iran without interception?

Iraq had no problem in replenishing its aircraft and it did. Iraq's number of aircraft increased more than double at the end of the war compare to the beginning of the war.

Good you mentioned that, which mean Iraqi air force lost less aircraft in the war compered to Iran, because if we collected the number of aircraft that Iraqi air force had it before the war plus the imported later will be the double such SU-7 and SU-20 and Hawker Hunter when the war started these aircraft being old for obsolescence of the age and lack of efficiency therefore Iraqi AF replace it with the new type of aircraft such MIG-25s and Su-22M4,Su-25,Su-24, MIG-29s and F1EQ5 and 6 plus H-6D bombers from China.

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Obviously there comes a time where running is not an option, e.g. base defence, strike package defence, CAP, intercepting an attack, etc., which is why an air superiority fighter needs MiG-25/interceptor and dogfighter capabilities, a BVR game and a WVR game.

Very interesting Lukos, but do you know of such fighter having all these characteristics? :D

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Very interesting Lukos, but do you know of such fighter having all these characteristics? :D

No fighter does them all perfectly but some are probably better than others.

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In reply to your "mercedes thing" ... The Mercedes cars were given to pilots generally. there was NEVER EVER a specific link of car awards to F14s. That is the key difference. The F14 fantasists "claim" that Iraqis wanted to hunt these planes so badly they made an award for shooting one down... not true. You got the award whether you shot down an F14, an F4 or an EC130... or got an Iranian tanker / disabled Khark jetty or a multitude of other things.

Isn't that what I've been saying? Iraqi pilots were awarded for shooting down F-14s! I never said they awarded the Merc for ONLY shooting down F-14s! :eagerness:

finally as to why Iraq didn't win the war in 6 months if hte F14 was ineffective... Because neither air force had much bearing on the outcome of the war! similarly their ballistic missiles were irrelevant.

Well this is where I disagree. Even if most of ". . . the hundreds of thousands of sorties . . ." of Iraqi planes where within the 50KM depth if Iranian territory as you said bringing in the PC-7 into the picture for most of it, I will still say this proves that air force had a major role in Iraqi forces; although, I do not agree the effectiveness was in this area!! I will also stick to the number of aircraft Iraq had acquired by the end of the war which showed its effectiveness during the war.

This is completely TRUE. Iraq did NOT lose a single SU-22. They DID however lose many SU-22M / M3 /M4... Don't CONFLAGATE!

Isn't this like saying Iran did not lose any F-4s during the Iran-Iraq war, just F-4Ds & F-4Es?!! Needless to say that the export version of SU-17s were dubbed as SU-20 & SU-22 with the post letters showing exact type of the SU-22 model; i.e., SU-22M/M3/M4 . . . but at end they are SU-22s. I do not understand what you mean by "Don't CONFLAGATE!" If its conflagrate, I still don't understand by what you mean, "Don't set fire?".

Iraqi Army was all along the front line (1600km) against an enemy that had 1M km2 strategic depth and 3-4x the population. Iran's capital was 650km away and protected by mountain ranges... Iraq's capital Baghdad was 100km from the border and through an open field with no obstructions...
But you knew that already? The war was a simple grinding land war between entrenched Iraqi lines and periodic Iranian assaults at different points. front lines never moved much and were so long that neither side could marshal enough forces for a decisive break through... however advantage certainly laid with Iran when it came to the following:
1- Geographical (depth of border)
2- Topographic (more defensive land)
3- Population (4x the size of Iraq's)
4- Technology (their air force and army had better technology than Iraq from day 1) - air force had 300x BVR fighters vs Iraq having 0 in 1980-1982, as one poignant example.
5- Economic (Iran could fight the war without resorting to debt) - All of Iraq's ports were blockaded and closed from Day 1 of the war.
6- Centre of power (Tehran was 650km away with mountains in between, protecting it from air and land assaults naturally. Whilst Baghdad being a 100km from the border and with an open field to the border was extremely vulnerable... it was literally 2 hours tank drive away - Baghdad was also far more vulnerable to surprise air attacks... yet despite that it suffered far less).

All of what you are saying is correct; however, all these can overcome via military tactics and eventually using roads. Even the easier access of Iran to advance in the battlefield was easier comparison to Iraq in west and southwest, yet roads are still widely used method of advancement; unless, you're in battle. The open area as you said still offers its natural obstacles like sand, marshes, etc. In an operation just after the war, some 7,000 MEK forces with Iraqi air support advanced as far as 150Km into Iranian territory using the element of surprise, capturing several towns in their wake.
As for Iran trying to capture Iraq, well with the chaos in the military it was never achievable even though the Iranian regime wanted it so badly. Correct, Iran lost many of its tanks to Iraq during different battles. Let's not forget Iran military suffered major purges, executions, lack of chain of command and when Iraq invaded Iran, the only ground forces responding where the commandos and the invasion was halted by the air force. The first unit of tanks arriving where the M-47 newly repaired and sold to Pakistan. The crew in Mashhad!! When the more modern tanks were leaving from Tehran, they were stopped by the revolutionary guards and Baseej check point asking where they were going!!! This is the same military that was supposed to be dissolved months back! With such an army conflicted within themselves, there was no chance of Iran capturing Iraq.

so despite all advantage being on Iran's side. It never managed to "win". Despite having 300 BVR planes at the beginning of the war, they could not stop Iraqi planes (which were mostly obsolete at that time ... SU-7, Hawker Hunter, MiG21, MiG23BN, Tu16, Tu22) from bombing Iran as deep as tehran regularly. Those Iraqi planes had NOTHING to protect themselves, no ECM, no BVR capable fighters, no AWACS, no SEAD nothing... Just 5-6 Iranian F14s patrolling along the border areas should have decimated the Iraqi Air Force completely had the F14 actually worked, and the Iraqis had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that could stop it. That was 1980-82.

During the first two years; although, Iranians had sea and air superiority, they didn't have the ground advantage at all. After Iraq's initial attack in September, they managed to capture the city of Khorramshahr and eventually surround the city of Abadan. Iran air force's major air to air kills were in the first two years of the war (almost decimating Iraq air force as you phrased!) and eventually, as they realized the war will prolong, the F-14 hunting missions turned to deterrent missions. The prolonged war in the battlefield was to Iraq's advantage as they could replenish their armed forces easily; although, with debt. Iran had the funds, but didn't have the support of the western countries to supply their mainly western armed forces.
It is correct that Iran had 300+ BVR fighters, but that was on paper. And on paper Iran had 77 F-14s, but as said, the F-4 rate of kills was very low which can be confirmed by the kills it had during Vietnam war, about 13% on Sparrow (BVR) missiles. However, it was the F-14s that held the Iraqi air force back forcing them to focus on ground achievements. In 1981 however, Iraq received its previously ordered Mirage F-1s which considerably increased its air performance, yet even when encountering the F-14s, they would cancel their mission; unless, it was an F-14 hunting mission which they would use 5-6 fighters trying to trap the F-14s. They were successful a few times in this task.
Iraq did not regularly bomb Tehran in the first two years and even towards the end, it wasn't regularly. The job was left to the low accurate Scud missiles on both sides, which later came to be known as the City Wars.
True Iraqi's did not have ECM on their fighters and as said by one of the Iraqi pilot POW, they kept looking above their heads for the Phoenix missile, the reason being that Phoenix's main flight path was to climb to around 100,000ft and then dive towards its target. Of course this depends on the distance to target as well.
And yes, Iranian air force did in fact badly damage Iraqi air force gaining air superiority between 1980-82.

On the ground the Iranians had Chieftains, M60s, M110s etc... versus Iraqi T55 and T62 tanks. They lost every single armoured encounter. But still, the Iraqis never managed to capitalise on their gain... why? because tanks would be regularly sent without infantry on the ground opening them up for guerilla style tactics by baseejis inside Iran (this from my uncle who was on the front line on the 22nd september and drove to Dezful in a T62). Neither side made effective use of their equipment at hand. Both were very cautious and defensive trying to minimise potential for catastrophic losses, and thereby never made the kind of bold manouvers and force concentrations in the air or on land that would have been decisive.

Yes on the ground in terms of mechanized divisions, Iraqis performed very well and better than the Iranians, again due to lack of coordination on the Iranian side between the IRGC/Baseej and the army. Also, the IRGC command structure was only formed nine months after the war broke out, while during the nine months they were fighting unconventionally!! One of the claims states that the Iranian side lost more IRGC/Baseej to the war than Iraqi+Iran Army soldiers! The useless use of human waves was catastrophic, many lost needlessly to the incompetency of the IRGC commanders. The IRGC/Baseej battled emotionally while the Iraqis battled logically, like the Iranian army.

Also, do note that not during the 8 year war there were battles everyday! Hundreds of days went without significant encounters as the war in general had turned into a stalemate in different phases, but towards accepting resolution 598, Iraqis made significant advances on the ground. The Iraqi air force began many effective sorties as well.

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Tell you what? why don't relieve yourself and convinced that Iranian F-14 wasn't in the right hands and didn't achieved all this empty claims.

Why would I do that when most claims are contrary to that?!!

Take look again to the table you will find Super Etendard listed in these claims, while Iraqi air force borrowed five Super Etendard only serial numbers start from 56 to 59 one of these Super Etendard crashed during a training flight at the end of 1983 by knowing of French advisers in Iraq at that day, in November 1984 the 4 Super Etendard return to France.

I think your google translator is on the fritz again! I did say that the table has many many problems and my only emphasis was on the importance of the F-14 during the war. The one Super Etendard shot down is said to be by the last testing phase of the converted MIM-23 Hawk fitted to the F-14, but the dates don't match. Again, you must say as claimed by French Advisers!!
Egyptian Mirage 5 in the list?! this Mirage come from where and what are doing in Iran-Iraq war?

These were the Egyptian Mirage F5s seen by IRIAF pilots (with no markings) operating for a short period of time early in the war. The deduction was made that they were Egyptian and there are no claims by the IRIAF pilots that they shot any Mirage F5s down.

Fazlollah Javidnia has 12 kills and Jalil Zandi has 11 sound the wieners of cold war period! ok any explanation on how Iraqi aircraft was attacking every single target inside Iran without interception?

Again, I think either you're not reading my posts correctly or your google translator is having a problem. I understand you are trying to insult Javidnia, but I don't understand how!! Cold war era is post WWII until the early 90's, Iraqi pilots were from that era and heck the war was in that era!!! He was 30-31 years old when the war broke out, in his prime for a fighter pilot!! Anyway, Javidnia himself says 8 kills and not 12 and Zandi I told you what information I gathered already, making the claim shaky!! Too bad he isn't alive to hear his claim and the 11 kills is based on your dear friend Tom Cooper! :D
This is interesting, now you are saying that Iraqi pilots were incompetent pilots and couldn't penetrate Iran without being noticed?! I will tell you right now that Iraqi pilots were very competent pilots. And when you say ". . . Iran without Interception", again now you believe that IRIAF had a capable air force to intercept Iraqi fighters? ;)
Pilots in general, in this case Iraqi and Iranian, were trained to use ground terrain to mask their ingress while using different tactics such as keeping the interceptor(s) and ground radar preoccupied with other high flying visible targets. No area at that time was 100% covered by radar and the radar coverage is usually around main cities and important installations.

Good you mentioned that, which mean Iraqi air force lost less aircraft in the war compered to Iran, because if we collected the number of aircraft that Iraqi air force had it before the war plus the imported later will be the double such SU-7 and SU-20 and Hawker Hunter when the war started these aircraft being old for obsolescence of the age and lack of efficiency therefore Iraqi AF replace it with the new type of aircraft such MIG-25s and Su-22M4,Su-25,Su-24, MIG-29s and F1EQ5 and 6 plus H-6D bombers from China.

Ummm I don't understand the translation exactly, but Iraq did replenish its air force with MiG-21 & 23s early in the war and the MiG-29 was received towards the end of the war. The main kills of the IRIAF were the MiG-21 & 23s during the war. I haven't heard of any engagement using the MiG-29 but if you have, I would like to hear it. As said, the main kills of the IRIAF was during the first two years of the war and as the war progressed, the role changed to deterrent. Towards the end of the war, due to the shortage of Phoenix missile, the IRIAF began a bluffing game as to whether the F-14 in flight was carrying the Phoenix missile or not. Also, the F-14 flights were reduced dramatically towards the last years of the war, allowing Iraqi fighters to easier penetration and initiate mission raids.

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Why would I do that when most claims are contrary to that?!!

I think your google translator is on the fritz again! I did say that the table has many many problems and my only emphasis was on the importance of the F-14 during the war. The one Super Etendard shot down is said to be by the last testing phase of the converted MIM-23 Hawk fitted to the F-14, but the dates don't match. Again, you must say as claimed by French Advisers!!

These were the Egyptian Mirage F5s seen by IRIAF pilots (with no markings) operating for a short period of time early in the war. The deduction was made that they were Egyptian and there are no claims by the IRIAF pilots that they shot any Mirage F5s down.

Again, I think either you're not reading my posts correctly or your google translator is having a problem. I understand you are trying to insult Javidnia, but I don't understand how!! Cold war era is post WWII until the early 90's, Iraqi pilots were from that era and heck the war was in that era!!! He was 30-31 years old when the war broke out, in his prime for a fighter pilot!! Anyway, Javidnia himself says 8 kills and not 12 and Zandi I told you what information I gathered already, making the claim shaky!! Too bad he isn't alive to hear his claim and the 11 kills is based on your dear friend Tom Cooper! :D
This is interesting, now you are saying that Iraqi pilots were incompetent pilots and couldn't penetrate Iran without being noticed?! I will tell you right now that Iraqi pilots were very competent pilots. And when you say ". . . Iran without Interception", again now you believe that IRIAF had a capable air force to intercept Iraqi fighters? ;)
Pilots in general, in this case Iraqi and Iranian, were trained to use ground terrain to mask their ingress while using different tactics such as keeping the interceptor(s) and ground radar preoccupied with other high flying visible targets. No area at that time was 100% covered by radar and the radar coverage is usually around main cities and important installations.

Ummm I don't understand the translation exactly, but Iraq did replenish its air force with MiG-21 & 23s early in the war and the MiG-29 was received towards the end of the war. The main kills of the IRIAF were the MiG-21 & 23s during the war. I haven't heard of any engagement using the MiG-29 but if you have, I would like to hear it. As said, the main kills of the IRIAF was during the first two years of the war and as the war progressed, the role changed to deterrent. Towards the end of the war, due to the shortage of Phoenix missile, the IRIAF began a bluffing game as to whether the F-14 in flight was carrying the Phoenix missile or not. Also, the F-14 flights were reduced dramatically towards the last years of the war, allowing Iraqi fighters to easier penetration and initiate mission raids.

What is the point of distortion or changing the meaning of other people comments?
Yes my English not so good but it's clear enough to understand by everyone, now you claim that i said:

now you are saying that Iraqi pilots were incompetent pilots and couldn't penetrate Iran without being noticed?!
where is that comment show to me! do you think people can't read and decide who's right and who's wrong?
At the first time you did change my comment when you claimed that i said (the external fuel tanks help maneuverability) while my comment still the same even in your quote (second thing extra fuel will gives the pilot more flexibility to maneuver during the attack.) this kind of behavior does not give you reliability, contrariwise this will give other people impression that you're inaccurate person.
Reading and knowledge of the aviation world is a beautiful thing i greet you on this interest but controversy and fallacy in speak makes you the focus of everyone's criticism therefore in the future no one will rely on your subjects or comments, because if you did change my comment (point of view) then you're able to do that same with the others again and again..
As I said before if you're interested to know the fact of that air war I am glad to help you, but keep posting Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop myths and insists to prove it this will make no since and no one want to west his time with this empty allegations.
You're free to read whatever you want and believe it, no one will stop you but trying to make it realistic and marketing the idea (like it's really happened) this will not help because other people have eyes and brain as well and they're able to read and see and analyze where is the true and where is the false.
I did said to you when the Iraq AF lost the lonely Super Etendard in training flight the French Advisers known about that incident which mean no MIM-23 Hawk or F-14 involved, isn't simple sentence..
Why would I do that when most claims are contrary to that?!!

Because as you said "most claims" which is mean no evidence prove these claims in other hand we can see Iraqi AF successfully attack and destroy all targets deeply inside Iranian territory which is mean Iranian F-14 fail to protect this vital locations (in simple sentence: if the Iranian F-14 was really active as they claims then Iraqi AF shouldn't be able to attack all the targets and destroy it) so it's hard to understand?
These were the Egyptian Mirage F5s seen by IRIAF pilots (with no markings) operating for a short period of time early in the war. The deduction was made that they were Egyptian and there are no claims by the IRIAF pilots that they shot any Mirage F5s down

No Egyptian or any foreign pilot or aircraft participated in Iran-Iraq war this is simply lies and empty allegations.
I understand you are trying to insult Javidnia, but I don't understand how!! Cold war era is post WWII until the early 90's, Iraqi pilots were from that era and heck the war was in that era!!! He was 30-31 years old when the war broke out, in his prime for a fighter pilot!! Anyway, Javidnia himself says 8 kills and not 12 and Zandi I told you what information I gathered already, making the claim shaky!! Too bad he isn't alive to hear his claim and the 11 kills is based on your dear friend Tom Cooper!

It's not my behavior to insult a fighter pilot even if he was my enemy, my point is very clear Cold War Period started from 1947 to 1991 where the fighter pilots achieved high kill ratio after WWII such (Korean War, Arab-Israel conflict ..etc) so with these claims Javidnia became the winner of this period with no single evidence prove his claims!
Ummm I don't understand the translation exactly, but Iraq did replenish its air force with MiG-21 & 23s early in the war and the MiG-29 was received towards the end of the war. The main kills of the IRIAF were the MiG-21 & 23s during the war. I haven't heard of any engagement using the MiG-29 but if you have, I would like to hear it. As said, the main kills of the IRIAF was during the first two years of the war and as the war progressed, the role changed to deterrent. Towards the end of the war, due to the shortage of Phoenix missile, the IRIAF began a bluffing game as to whether the F-14 in flight was carrying the Phoenix missile or not. Also, the F-14 flights were reduced dramatically towards the last years of the war, allowing Iraqi fighters to easier penetration and initiate mission raids.

1.The new MIG-21s and MIG-23s entered at Iraqi AF early in the war because Iraq already contracted to buy them before the war started and it took time to build and prepare the aircraft (since they contracted till they delivered) and the same story with the MIG-25s.
2.The MIG-29s deal started in 1984 entered to replace the hawker hunter squadron and MIG-23MS as well at the end of 1986.

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I'd say that it puts a big smoking hole into your little theory about SR-71 being invulnerable to the MiG-25 and MiG-31 from Post #143.
Over Barents Sea = international waters

I'd say it does no such thing and you have no evidence to prove otherwise.

It sent a clear message. Deterrence is the best defense.

Deterrence against what?

A wrong question to ask, because everything is possible... The right question to ask would be - have the F-14s indeed shot down any MiG-25RB? A claim made by IRIAF pilot is hardly a proof..

Why do the claims made by Iranian F-14 pilots possess less credence compared to Soviet PVO MiG-31 pilots?

SR-71 - M3.3.. MiG-25RB - M2.8 safely, M3.2 with risk. You seem to have a thing with math

Since when did Iraqi MiG-25s fly at Mach 2.8 - any evidence to prove that they did?
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I'd say it does no such thing and you have no evidence to prove otherwise.

It clearly does and makes your theory about invulnerability completely invalid.
More evidence is hardly required as you, too, have provided none, in the first place.

Deterrence against what?
Intruders violating their airspace. That was, finally, the primary mission of the MiG-31..

Why do the claims made by Iranian F-14 pilots possess less credence compared to Soviet PVO MiG-31 pilots?

They were not rejected by the opposing side. That is quite a lot more credible than a kill claim for which the opponent does not miss any aircraft.

Since when did Iraqi MiG-25s fly at Mach 2.8 - any evidence to prove that they did?
All MiG-25s were able to fly at M2.8. Painting an Iraqi flag on them does not make them any less capable.

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Isn't that what I've been saying? Iraqi pilots were awarded for shooting down F-14s! I never said they awarded the Merc for ONLY shooting down F-14s! :eagerness:

no. that is not what you claimed. You claimed that the F14 was a "special" target aside from any other and there was an award for shooting one down. That is patently false as we have amply demonstrated. And that aids the argument we're making that the F14 was not thought of as anything "special" by the Iraqi military. shooting one down was NO DIFFERENT than shooting down an iranian T33. You got the same award.

Well this is where I disagree. Even if most of ". . . the hundreds of thousands of sorties . . ." of Iraqi planes where within the 50KM depth if Iranian territory as you said bringing in the PC-7 into the picture for most of it, I will still say this proves that air force had a major role in Iraqi forces; although, I do not agree the effectiveness was in this area!! I will also stick to the number of aircraft Iraq had acquired by the end of the war which showed its effectiveness during the war.

no. air forces had budgets (huge ones at that) and they tried making impressions. however ultimately all battles of the war were won and lost with artillery, tanks and infantry. I would say (at least on the Iraqi side) that engineering works made a decisive role in the war, and Iraqis used man made water and earth works to negate their major disadvantage in strategic depth and defensive topology that the Iranians did not have. All far more important than MiG25s or F4 phantoms or anything of that sort...

Air power played a marginal secondary role, and even when iran didn't have air defences iraqis never used their airpower effectively. and even when Iran had 300 BVR planes versus 0 Iraqi BVR planes... the iranians never protected their interior air space effectively let alone managed to impose air supremacy over the battlefield... all in all it shows very ineffective use of air power by both sides. yet they both continued putting effort and funding in keeping their air forces active. similarly Iraq spent over $3Bn for its navy in 1982 despite the Iraqi navy having no current or any potential future effective role in warfare due to its geography.

Isn't this like saying Iran did not lose any F-4s during the Iran-Iraq war, just F-4Ds & F-4Es?!! Needless to say that the export version of SU-17s were dubbed as SU-20 & SU-22 with the post letters showing exact type of the SU-22 model; i.e., SU-22M/M3/M4 . . . but at end they are SU-22s. I do not understand what you mean by "Don't CONFLAGATE!" If its conflagrate, I still don't understand by what you mean, "Don't set fire?".

I apologise I meant "conflate".

During the first two years; although, Iranians had sea and air superiority, they didn't have the ground advantage at all. After Iraq's initial attack in September, they managed to capture the city of Khorramshahr and eventually surround the city of Abadan. Iran air force's major air to air kills were in the first two years of the war (almost decimating Iraq air force as you phrased!) and eventually, as they realized the war will prolong, the F-14 hunting missions turned to deterrent missions. The prolonged war in the battlefield was to Iraq's advantage as they could replenish their armed forces easily; although, with debt. Iran had the funds, but didn't have the support of the western countries to supply their mainly western armed forces.

It is correct that Iran had 300+ BVR fighters, but that was on paper. And on paper Iran had 77 F-14s, but as said, the F-4 rate of kills was very low which can be confirmed by the kills it had during Vietnam war, about 13% on Sparrow (BVR) missiles. However, it was the F-14s that held the Iraqi air force back forcing them to focus on ground achievements. In 1981 however, Iraq received its previously ordered Mirage F-1s which considerably increased its air performance, yet even when encountering the F-14s, they would cancel their mission; unless, it was an F-14 hunting mission which they would use 5-6 fighters trying to trap the F-14s. They were successful a few times in this task.

but they didn't decimate the iraqi air force. I mean even Tu-16, Il-28, Hawker Hunter and SU-7s were flying into Iranian air space in 1980-81, bombing Iran and flying back unscathed... HUNDREDS OF TIMES! not once or twice. surely If Iran could keep just 4-5 F14s in the air they would have decimated those squadrons flying 1950s antiques.

Iraq did not regularly bomb Tehran in the first two years and even towards the end, it wasn't regularly. The job was left to the low accurate Scud missiles on both sides, which later came to be known as the City Wars.

even MiG23BN were bombing Tehran in the early 80s, let alone TU-22 and anything else that had the range. Iraq had no missile capable of reaching Tehran until 1987. Every single raid on Tehran until then was by aircraft.

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For correction again Iraq AF did not used the Il-28 in Iran-Iraq war because they came out of service since the mid-70th.

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Isn't this like saying Iran did not lose any F-4s during the Iran-Iraq war, just F-4Ds & F-4Es?!! Needless to say that the export version of SU-17s were dubbed as SU-20 & SU-22 with the post letters showing exact type of the SU-22 model; i.e., SU-22M/M3/M4 . . . but at end they are SU-22s. I do not understand what you mean by "Don't CONFLAGATE!" If its conflagrate, I still don't understand by what you mean, "Don't set fire?".

He means 'conflate' but I don't agree with him. Kills and losses are generally collated for all versions of an aircraft, e.g. F-14A-D and F-15A-E. Su-22/M/MX are all Su-22s.

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It clearly does and makes your theory about invulnerability completely invalid.
More evidence is hardly required as you, too, have provided none, in the first place.

No SR-71 has ever been shot down by a MiG-25/31, and until such an event occurs the onus is on you to provide evidence that the MiG can indeed shoot down the Lockheed.

Remarkable claims always call for remarkable evidence.

Intruders violating their airspace. That was, finally, the primary mission of the MiG-31..

Since when was the Soviet air defence system a deterrence to USAF B-52, B-2, B1B - as and when the appropriate time and circumstances should come?

All MiG-25s were able to fly at M2.8. Painting an Iraqi flag on them does not make them any less capable.

The potential maximum dash speed - not its cruise speed like the 3.2 Mach of the SR-71

They were not rejected by the opposing side. That is quite a lot more credible than a kill claim for which the opponent does not miss any aircraft.

BTW, I'm not claiming the Iranian AF did shoot down the MiG-25 (but the USAF did). I just want to know why the SR-71 is so vulnerable to intercept by MiG, while the MiG-25RB can safely escape F-14A.