If need be, Iran could bribe some Iraqis & have them fly some or all 34 F-16s in- btw they r not old
You are not getting the point... with the F-4s and F-5s and F-14s the Iranians had a decade of experience using them, they had men trained to fly them, they have all the manuals and do all the flight training themselves, and have had plenty of time to learn to support and maintain those aircraft to an operational level.
They have never used F-16s and have no experience at all with them and they are totally different from the aircraft before them... when they came out I remember them being called the electric jet because of all the new electronics and computers inside.
To take on some F-16s now would be useless... even if every Iraqi F-16 pilot flew their F-16 to Iran how will Iran get all the support equipment and spares... and operational manuals and ground equipment.... and even if they could get it all from Venezuela... Venezuela wasn't able to keep them flying... they require parts and without those spare parts they have to stop flying...
Iraq would face serious backlashes from the US if it attempted to help Iran this way and their ability to help over the long term would be poor... at the very least the US would cut them off from spare parts too and so they wouldn't be able to use any they still had for long either let alone support Iranian aircraft too.
More importantly the F-16 from a hostile country would be a brand new type totally different from anything they already have in service they couldn't operate and couldn't support... in comparison buying MiG-29M2s from the Russians... perhaps even with local assembly and limited production themselves is much easier and much more realistic and would result in a much more capable plane that they can get parts for... they already have MiG-29s in service... they could swap some old models for the new models and expand their fleet and replace their F-4s with it... they could pay for it all with oil... it is not like they don't have enough oil, and as I mentioned they could produce a few extra MiG-29M2s perhaps for Iraq or Lebanon or Syria... they could get paid for production with some profit for them and a percentage for royalties to MiG... everyone is happy... except the US and Israel... but who cares about them.
Venezuela could disassemble hers & ship them there too- she too can't use them anymore.
The reason she can't use them any more is a lack of spares... if there are no new parts to use how can Iran copy them to make their own spare parts?
Venezuela would be transfering aircraft they can't use to Iran... who wont be able to use them either...
Iraq-US relations r not sustainable after Suleimani & another Iraqi commander killings. If US arms can't be used for long, Russia &/ China will sell their substitutes.
If US-Turkey relations nose dive & F-16 support stopped, Turkey can also help with hers- she has 245 F-16
I agree with what you are saying, but the fundamental question I would ask is what is so damn wonderful about the F-16 for countries with problems with the US are so desperate to buy them and use them?
Surely the best solution is to choose an alternative where spares and support are not provided exclusively by a whiny moaning bitch... whether that is a MiG-29M2 or Su-30 or something Chinese... very simply the F-16 without support is more of a problem than an asset and while Venezuelas problem is clear and Iraq and Turkeys problem is not so completely clear... why would Iran want another problem?
Iran uses US aircraft because that is what they are familiar with but they also use Su-24 and MiG-29 aircraft too... if Russia cut them off or screwed them they would likely work out how to support those aircraft so they kept working too. That is just about independence, but when you can buy the real thing then you do... trying to develop your own ability to support someone elses product is hard work and not good use of resources...
If they had better relations with the Soviet Union they could have dumped all their American planes and just bought Soviet planes instead but the reality is that the Soviet Union weren't best buddies with Iran either.
Many people think there is a good side and a bad side and all the good is America and its allies and the bad is everyone else working together against the good... sometimes that is true and countries that get screwed by the US work together, but that does not make them friends or allies... Russia and Iran do work together... In Syria they are clearly working together... but they are not buddies...
Russia might block some of Americas more toxic motions at the UN against Iran, but only because it is the right thing to do.
[qutoe]With nothing to lose, they can be get rid of to cut their losses, & at a profit at that.
Iran won't need so many in flight status but will have enough airframes to keep a dozen, if not more, flying- at least as interceptors & escorts. It won't be any harder to sustain them than they did their F-1/4/5/14s all these years. Other engines & weapons can be adopted for them.
So, theoretically it's not at all impossible.[/quote]
Theoretically it is very unlikely... and in comparison it would be much cheaper to make an order with OAC and buy some MiGs or Sukhois or talk to the Chinese and buy some of their planes... they would pay less and the aircraft would be up and useful much faster and there would be a lot less that the US could do about it.
Iraq would never risk sending Iran F-16 as they would break their agreement with USA face sanctions and lose trust with other nations Iraq would not sacrifice that for the sake of earning a few Hundred million and be left with a big gap in its airforce.
Normally I would say this would be a good thing for Iraq and Iran by driving the Americans out of Iraq but I really don't think they would leave that easy and like in Syria would remain just to make things worse for everyone around them... like US troops in Germany and Japan and South Korea... and Cuba...
It would cost Iraq too much... first of all the US would cut off all supplies for F-16s just so they don't go to Iran.
Who is going to train the Iranians how to support the F-16s... the pilots that fly them there?
Turkey does not like Iran and would not help them with F-16 parts...
If money is short, as it will be. Then buying small number of Russian planes is useful. Providing all the conditions I mentioned, are met.
I would like to see Russia accept Iranian oil as payment so essentially it could be done largely free.
I think local production at the very least assembly and production of support components would also need to be assured but because most of the time it is spares support where companies make most of their money then there needs to be an agreement regarding volume limits and exports, because if things change and Iran becomes hostile Russia does not want to compete on the international market for spare parts with Iran for spares for its own products.
A royalty paid in oil would probably suffice... even transfers across the Caspian Sea in mini oil tankers that can navigate the Russian inland canal system so it can be taken to a processing plant and converted into fuels and used domestically in Russia... OAK could open a franchise of petrol stations to sell it to get their money effectively...
Those F-16s r not older than their F-1/4/5/14s. They can just modify & use them with their own gear like those fighters, w/o any copying. Iran won't get top of the line fighters from any1 else either.
Once the UN sanctions come off why would Russia not sell them what they want?
they can claim that those F-16s pilots defected; Iraq been under sanctions since 1991-2003; now, since it's allied with Iran, they r de-facto back, esp. with current low oil prices the Iraqi economy depends on.
How could Iran even use the few that defect? It would take them ten years to learn the plane inside and out and to design and make spec plans for the consumables and produce them... a plane they have no experience with... they would be better off selling them to Pakistan or back to Iraq or the US for cash.
If it can still use F-1/4/5/14s, it could use F-16s too. In fact, it's easier to get spares for them than those older birds.
They were trained by the makers of those older planes to use and to service and support them... they have an enormous pool of pilots and ground crew with 40 + years of experience with those planes... so adaptations to suit their needs were necessary when official support stopped. The fact that they were prepared to give money to their hated enemy to buy spare parts shows you it is not easy doing it on your own.... the US had murdered almost 300 shooting down an Iranian airbus... it is to their credit that they kept those planes in the air as long as they have... but the F-16 is totally different.
They could sell Iran cannibalized spares while getting new fighters from Russia/China.
Would be cheaper to make their own spare parts for certain components for their own licence produced models... plus what other things does Turkey sell to Iran?
The US supports Greece, so Turkey can pay in kind.
There are lots of little reasons why they might, but fundamentally it is 10,000 times simpler and cheaper and quicker to just buy the rights to make a plane yourself than to try to work out how to do it all yourself. They are clever and very capable, but them trying to make F-16s... well why would you bother...
If they can pay mostly in oil at a time when they have oil but fewer customers because of US sanctions, then paying Russia in oil for permission to locally build fighter planes to replace their existing types makes sense. Whether the Russians are interested and Iran is interested is another question, but being totally honest and not wanting to besmerch the Iranians in any way I think a modern F-5 is a good idea but making a modern capable medium or heavy fighter is probably beyond them... and that is largely because there are not actually that many countries who can make good medium and heavy fighters... I mean Russia and China and France and the US and the countries that built the Typhoon together as a group.... that is not a huge list and many of the best Chinese options are copies of purchased Soviet planes too... might add Japan but they work with US companies they basically do to American planes what India did with an Su-30MK.