Russia to provide additional Su-25 fighters to Iraq by September

2 July 2014 (Last Updated July 2nd, 2014 18:30)

Russia is likely to deliver additional Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) by September this year.

Su-25 jet

Russia is likely to deliver additional Su-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence (MoD) by September this year.

Russian ambassador to Baghdad Ilya Morgunov told RIA Novosti that the country will supply five to ten Su-25 fighters to Iraq by the end of summer.

The contracts for military hardware signed in 2013, are being implemented according to schedule Morgunov added.

Russia has delivered five used Su-25 planes to Iraq last week to aid in the war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) insurgents, who have captured a number of cities in the country, including Mosul and Tikrit.

The Russian combat aircraft supply was requested by Iraq due to delay in deliveries of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets from the US.

"Media sources reported that Iran has shipped up to seven Su-25K/UBK fighters to Imam Ali Air Base, near Nasiriyah in Iraq."

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich told the news agency that Moscow had supplied the aircraft commissioned under the previous contract to Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi MoD confirmed arrival of the second batch of aircraft in Baghdad.

Even though the ministry did not specify the origin of the aircraft, media sources reported that Iran has shipped up to seven Su-25K/UBK fighters to Imam Ali Air Base, near Nasiriyah in Iraq.

International Institute of Strategic Studies analyst Joseph Dempsey, who has analysed the video released by Iraq, told BBC that the aircraft were indeed Iranian.

"Imagery analysis makes this the most logical conclusion. The markings, serial numbers and camouflage all fit with what we know of the Iranian fleet," Dempsey said.

Manufactured by the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Su-25 is a Soviet-era, single-seat jet aircraft designed to provide close air support for ground troops, and also defeat small mobile and stationary ground targets.

Powered by two Soyuz /Gavrilov R-195s turbojet engines, the aircraft can also engage low-speed air targets at the forward edge and in the nearest tactical and operational depth.


Image: A Russian Air Force Su-25 ground attack aircraft stationed at Kubinka air base near Moscow Oblast, Russia. Photo: courtesy of Dmitry A. Mottl.

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