Commander Mohammad Shirazi, chief of the military office for the leader of the Islamic Revolution
“If their personnel are trained on the flight simulator… Iran’s national power will increase greatly.”
One aspect of Iran’s effort to upgrade its air capabilities is in training. In the excerpted article from Mashregh News, an ostensibly private news agency close to Iran’s security and intelligence apparatus, Air Force chief Hamid Vahidi argues that a new domestically produced flight simulator will have an outsized impact on Iran’s capabilities and readiness, since earlier imported systems often did not always match Iran’s fleet or conditions. Vahidi also indicates that Iran could be a hub for combat pilot training across West Asia. This is an exaggeration, as few regional states, with the exception of Syria, fly the same aircraft that the Iranian Air Force does, and there is no apparent desire by most West Asian countries to train in Iran when they have access to training facilities and simulators in the United States and Europe. The introduction of the new system also demonstrates the interplay between Iranian universities and the military. In the West, most universities are clearly distinct from the military, except for service academies. In contrast, in Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps either runs entire universities or dominates certain academic departments whose research could enhance Iran’s military capabilities.[iii] It is reasonable to expect growing Iranian Air Force activity both in the Persian Gulf and along Iran’s eastern borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan as Iran augments its training and upgrades its fleet of aircraft.
“Shabiyehsaz-e Moraghabat-e Pervaz Cheh Kar Baradi Darad? (What is the Purpose of the New Flight Simulator?),” Mashregh News (an ostensibly private news agency close to Iran’s security and intelligence apparatus), 13 June 2023. https://www.mashreghnews.ir/news/1498976
…The flight control system made by the Army Air Force was unveiled this morning [13 June 2023] in the presence of General Mohammad Shirazi, chief of the military office for the Leader of the Islamic Revolution; Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi, chief of the Army’s Air Force; Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Marvinam, director of the Shahid Sattari University of Aeronautical Engineering, and a group of Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force specialists. This system replicated all the conditions of an air traffic control tower, such as weather, different times, and the real scenes of an airport. The Flight Simulator is used for training both undergraduate and graduate students as well as courses for flight attendant operations officers. The system is actually a set of five simulators that includes the flight control tower, airport approach radar and aircraft control radar.
Vahedi said, “This system was designed and built by our brave scientists and elite youth at Shahid Sattari Air University,” and added, “The indigenous flight simulator was built for the first time in the country, and we can use this system to train the students of the tower in all fields…
He continued, “The flight simulator is one of the systems we needed to train Air Force students, and was designed and built by using the experience of both the veterans and senior leaders of Shahid Sattati University….” Vahedi further stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is the hub of flight simulators in the West Asia, and said the new simulators have upgrades those we already had to take into account the planes for which we did not have simulation….[Marvinam] said that if their personnel are trained on the flight simulator and perform all the necessary exercises, not only Shahid Sattari students but also the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force will augment their abilities and, more broadly, Iran’s national power will increase greatly.
[i] For example, see: Michael Rubin, “Iran Wants Sukhoi-35 Fighters from Russia” OE Watch, October 2018. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/427403/download
[ii] With regard to developing Russo-Iranian ties, see: Michael Rubin, “Iran-Russia Relations” OE Watch, July 2016. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/195435
[iii] For example, see: Michael Rubin, “The University Jihad Stands Together with the Defense Jihad” OE Watch, November 2020. https://community.apan.org/wg/tradoc-g2/fmso/m/oe-watch-past-issues/356999/download
Image: Commander Mohammad Shirazi, chief of the military office for the leader of the Islamic Revolution, inspects the new flight monitoring simulator system, 13 June 2023.
Attribution: Fars News Agency