Iran Tries To Hide Russia's Su-27SKM Fighter from Public Eye

Russia’s Su-27SKM fighter jet will take part in the Bahrain International Air Show (BIAS) 2010. An official spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in the Russian Federation stated that it would give the Russian jet a permission to fly above Iran’s territory for the air show in Bahrain, RIA Novosti reports.

The participation of the Russian jet in the above-mentioned event was in jeopardy because of Iran’s official stance on the matter. Russian officials said that the Russian jet would most likely not be able to participate in the air show since Iran was not intended to issue the permission for that not later than January 20. This would have caused serious damage to the interests of Russia’s defense export giant, Rosoboronexport, and the world-known Sukhoi Design Bureau, the maker of Sukhoi-27SKM. The companies pinned great hopes on the demonstration of the fighter jet in Bahrain.

A number of countries of the region are interested in the Russian jet. Russia was hoping to demonstrate the unique performance of the aircraft at the air show and unveil several variants of modernization of the jet.

Su-27SKM was supposed to arrive in Bahrain on Monday night, Jan. 18, but the authorities of Iran did not permit its flight in the nation’s air space. As a result, the plane landed in Russia’s Astrakhan. Spokespeople for Iranian authorities said that they did not receive the required documents from the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry on time and were forced not to issue the permission.

Officials of the Russian delegation, who arrived in Bahrain for the air show, stated that all the documents required for the flight of the Russian fighter jet via Iran’s air space had been prepared accordingly.

“We also sent a note to Iran asking the permission for the flight of the cargo airplane to Bahrain, and there were no problems with that plane,” an official told RIA Novosti news agency.

BIAS-2010 will open in Bahrain on January 21.

The Sukhoi Su-27 is a one-seat Mach-2 class jet fighter originally manufactured by the Soviet Union, and designed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth generation fighters, with long 3,530 km range, heavy armament, sophisticated avionics and high agility. The Su-27 most often flies air superiority missions, but is able to perform almost all combat operations. Complementing the smaller MiG-29, the Su-27's closest US counterpart is the F-15 Eagle.

Su-27SKM is a single-seat multirole fighter for export. It is a derivative of the Su-27SK but includes upgrades such as advanced cockpit, more sophisticated self-defense electronic countermeasures (ECM) and an in-flight refueling system.

RIA Novosti

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov