Iran and Russia have reached an agreement to transfer some 24 Su-35S aircraft originally built for Egypt, to Tehran.
“Arrangements have been finalized for the delivery of Russian-made Su-35 fighter jets, Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters, and Yak-130 jet trainers to Iran,” deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Mahdi Farahi was quoted as saying by Tasnim News.
He said those three advanced military aircraft will be definitely at Iran’s disposal and the processes (for their transfer) are currently under way.
The minister did not specify if the Su-35 aircraft in question were the ones committed to Egypt before Cairo backed out of the deal under pressure from the U.S.
However, Iran and Russia watchers on social media speculated that the aircraft committed to Egypt had not been drawn into the inventory of the Russian Aerospace Forces but were kept aside in the Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant of Russian airplane manufacturer, UAC.
The aircraft intended for Egypt had been manufactured with special requirements for operation in a desert environment which matches that which the Iran Air Force operates in.