Iran finalises deal to buy Russian fighter jets - Tasnim

A Russian Sukhoi Su-35S jet fighter performs a flight during the Aviadarts competition outside Ryazan

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran has finalised arrangements for the delivery of Russian made Sukhoi su-35 fighter jets and helicopters, Iran's deputy defence minister told Iran's Tasnim news agency on Tuesday, as Tehran and Moscow forge closer military relations.

Iran's air force has only a few dozen strike aircraft, including Russian jets as well as ageing U.S. models acquired before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"Plans have been finalised for Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets, Mil Mi-28 attack helicopters, and Yak-130 jet trainers to join the combat units of Iran's Army," Iran's deputy Defence Minister Mehdi Farahi said.

The Tasnim report did not include any Russian confirmation of the deal.

In 2018, Iran said it had started production of the locally-designed Kowsar fighter for use in its air force. Military experts believe the jet is a carbon copy of the F-5, first produced in the United States in the 1960s.

(Reporting by Elwely Elwelly; Editing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alison Williams and Ed Osmond)