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Iranian Armoured or Mechanised Division (Pre & Post Revolution) PDF Print E-mail
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TO&Es - Iran
Sunday, 01 April 2001 20:58

Quality: WARPAC 1 / WARPAC 2 / Third World (see below)
Morale: 2/3 Regular 1/3 Green / 1/3 Regular 2/3 Green / All Green (see below)

Armoured Division Headquarters: 1-HQ M113.

2 Armoured Brigade Groups, each: 
Brigade Group Headquarters: 1-HQ M113.
Brigade Recon Company: 1-Recon BMP-1 Combat Team, 1 or 2-Recon AFV Stands[1].
Brigade AA Company: 2-SPAA Stands[2]. 
Brigade Engineering Company: 2 or 3-Engineer Stands in Trucks[3]. 
1-Armoured Artillery Battalion: 3 or 4-M109 SP 155mm, 1-FO.
2-Armoured Battalions, each:
Battalion Headquarters: 1-HQ MBT[4].
3-Tank Companies, each with: 2 or 3-MBTs[4].
1-Mechanised Battalion:
Battalion Headquarters: 1-HQ APC[5].
3-Infantry Companies, each with: 2 or 3-Combat Teams[5].
1-Weapons Company: 1-106mm RR Stand in APC[6], 1 or 2-81mm Mortar Stands in APC[6].


[1] Recon Companies used Scorpion Light Tanks or Fox Armoured Cars. Scorpion units had less vehicles, so probably 1 Scorpion stand or 2 Fox Stands.

[2] SPAA Companies can be equipped either with ZSU-23-4 Shilka or ZSU-57-2.

[3] Some Engineer Companies may be 2 or 3-M113 Engineer Combat Teams.

[4] MBTs can be either Chieftain (Mk.3 or 5) equipping about 12 to 14 Battalions, M60A1 equipping 3 or 4 Battalions, M48A5 equipping 2 or 3 Battalions, or the Iranian manufactured M47M equipping 1 to 3 Battalions (previously 6 to 8 Battalions had been equipped with these before all the Chieftains arrived ). It is possible the M60A1's and M48A5's and even the M47M's are in mixed Battalions, as the Iranian M47's are a modified versions using M48A3 & M60 componentry, retaining only M47 Turrets and 90mm Guns. The older M47's may alternatively be in the Tank Battalions of some of the Mechanised Brigades. Armoured Brigades are probably equipped with the same vehicles in each Battalion, and probably the Chieftains are concentrated in the "Armoured" Brigades of 3 of the 4 Armoured Divisions, the other Division's Brigades having Chieftains and M60A1's.

[5] The Combat Teams in each Battalion can be in M113 or BMP-1.

[6] Normally M113 transport; the BMP equipped units may have used M113's also, or may have just used Jeep mounted 106mm RR (or not had them at all as superfluous) and used Truck transported Mortars.

It is unclear what assets were present at "Divisional" level. Divisions appear to have been organised as administrative units only and the Brigades held all the fighting troops.

The Iranian army had 4 Armoured and 2 Mechanised Divisions prior to the Shah's overthrow, Mechanised Divisions are believed to have probably been a reversal of this organisation (1-Tank and 2-Mechanised Battalions per Brigade). There are a total of approximately 24 Armoured Battalions so may have been 3 Brigades in a couple of the Armoured Divisions for example.

At the time of the Shah's overthrow units were known to be understrength. After the Revolution unit strengths were further reduced, but otherwise they are believed to have continued on and fought in the Iran/Iraq war. Divisions may have ceased to exist or been reorganised, however it is likely the Brigades continued on, possibly as independent units. Units represented at or after the Revolution should always use the lowest number of stands listed.

Mechanised strength dwindled fairly quickly, especially for the Chieftains and US supplied equipment. Likewise trained manpower also dwindled. After the Revolution treat Divisions/Brigades as 1/3 Regular, 2/3 Green. After 6-12 months of the Iran/Iraq war they probably should all be treated as Green - after 12 months of the war all equipment levels should be reduced to 1/2 or 3/4 the number of stands for a Btn (based on the lowest numbers above as full strength)... Treat Iranians as Warpac 1 before the revolution, Warpac 2 after it, and Third World 12 months or so after the start of the Iran/Iraq war.

This is a guideline TO&E so is subject to further research.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 April 2010 21:30
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