Well, in an earlier piece, I tried to tell you that open war with Iran is a really, really remote possibility. Now we’ll flip-flop it a bit (that’s the beauty of the internet) and assume that war between the United States and Iran isn’t only possible, but we will attempt to outline how it might play out on the ground, in the air, and on the oceans.   

The Air War

The Iranian Air Force (IAF) is mostly operating an ancient fleet of American aircraft. In a shotting war with the U.S., Iran’s once powerful and proud Air Force would no doubt be swept from the sky rather easily by a modern U.S. Air Force that has a distinct numerical and technological edge.

Iran received from Russia 20 of their SU-24 strike aircraft as well as 30 of the MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters, but that was in 1990. More recently the Iranians purchased 25 of the Chinese Chengdu F-7 fighters which are a copy of the MiG-21. The backbone of their air force are the purchases made when the Shah was still sitting on the throne — which was more than 40 years ago. These are 24 F-5s, 42 F-4 Phantoms, and 60 F-14 Tomcats. The Iranians also tried to push a fake “Stealth” aircraft on the internet in 2013 and an “updated” version in 2017.

While F-14s flew escort for Russian bombers flying missions against ISIS, how long would this ancient fleet of aircraft last against the U.S. in a no-holds-barred shooting war? Not very long at all. In a matter of days, their air arm would be swept from the sky.