Iran’s air force has received a batch of advanced Russian combat trainer jets to “improve the training and combat capability of the air force,” local media reported Saturday.
“A number of Yak-130 training aircraft entered the country and joined the Shahid Babaei Air Base in Isfahan” in central Iran, according to Tasnim news agency.
The agency, quoting the army’s public relations department, said the arrival of the Yakovlev Yak-130 came as part of the Islamic republic’s “arms contracts with the Russian Federation.”
Russia and Iran are both under international sanctions that restrict trade but have over the past year forged strong ties in various sectors including military cooperation.
In March, Iran announced that a deal had been reached to buy Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia.
Ukraine and many of its Western allies have accused Tehran of supplying Moscow with weapons for use in its war against Kyiv.
Iran has consistently denied the allegations.
In May, the United States said Iran and Russia are “expanding their unprecedented defense partnership.”
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said at the time that Iran had delivered more than 400 drones to Russia since August last year.
He added that Tehran was seeking to buy attack helicopters, radars and Yak-130 aircraft from Russia.
Iran currently has mostly Russian MiG and Sukhoi fighter jets that date back to the Soviet era, as well as some Chinese aircraft, including the F-7.
Some American F-4 and F-5 fighter jets dating back to before the 1979 Islamic Revolution are also part of its fleet.