First imagery of recently delivered Iraq Air Force Su-25 ground attack aircraft being deployed against ISIS.
The first Su-25, still in Russian Air Force (RuAF) camouflage and with a hastily applied Iraqi flag and air force roundel, arrived onboard a Russian An-124-100 cargo plane together with ground support equipment on the 28th of June. The Su-25s are believed to have been stored at the Aircraft Repair Plant 121 (ARZ 121) in Kubinka before being flown to Iraq. The contract also included new engines for the aircraft, which were installed just before the delivery flight.
The Iraqi Air Force received around fifty-five Su-25s in the late eighties and were used with devastating effect against Iranian troops near Bashrah during the Iran-Iraq war. Iraq’s last Su-25s were destroyed after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and it is thus unknown if any of the former Su-25 pilots are still capable or willing to fly one of the five Su-25s.
According to various media outlets, the IQAF has four pilots qualified to fly the Su-25s. Maintenance will be performed by Russian contractors, which are to be replaced by Iraqis once they finished their training in Russia.