The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) (Persian: نیروی هوایی ارتش جمهوری اسلامی ایران) is the aviation branch of the Iranian armed forces. The present Air Force came into being in the early 1980s when the former Imperial Iranian Air Force was renamed. The Air Force did not play a significant role in the long Iran-Iraq war, being crippled by purges in its early stages and then being relegated to defensive duties.
The Air Force has attempted with some success to maintain in service the large number of American-built aircraft which Iran acquired during the Shah’s regime. The Air Force has turned to purchases of Soviet and Chinese aircraft, as well as pressing ex-Iraqi aircraft into service, and indigenously built aircraft, in order to maintain a capable force.