Iran commissions new fighter jet

September 6th, 2006  

Topic: Iran commissions new fighter jet

Iran test flies warplane it remodelled - reports

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran has remodelled one of the warplanes in its fleet and successfully test flown the aircraft, state-run media reported on Wednesday.

The reports did not specify which plane had been remodelled but pictures on state television of the re-designed plane indicated it was based on a U.S.-built F-5.

Iran still uses planes, such as the F-5, supplied by the United States to the government of the former shah of Iran, who was a close U.S. ally. Mohammad Reza Shah was toppled in the 1979 Islamic revolution, after which Washington severed ties with Iran.

The remodelled plane is called the Saeqeh, or Thunderbolt. Iran has a home-built missile in its arsenal with the same name.

Iran often says it has built new arms or upgraded weapons but rarely gives enough details for analysts to determine their capabilities. Although much of Iran's weaponry is outmoded, analysts say Iran has become proficient at modifying such arms.

"For the first time, the Saeqeh fighter plane carried out a mission to bomb virtual enemy targets on Wednesday in northwest of Iran," Ataollah Salehi, commander-in-chief of Iran's regular army, told the official IRNA news agency.

Television pictures on Wednesday showed the Saeqeh flying alongside an F-5. The main difference appeared to be that the Saeqeh had two tail fins as opposed to the single fin on the F-5.

In a separate report, Iran's student news agency ISNA quoted Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying Iran had designed a 2,000-pound guided bomb called Qased (Messenger), which would be tested in the next few days.

"By producing guided ammunition, the Islamic Republic of Iran has joined the limited number of countries who possess the technology of smart and guided weaponry," he said.

Iran has been staging land, sea and air war games since Aug. 19. Some of the manoeuvres have taken place in the Gulf, a key oil shipping route, and analysts say Iran wants to show it could act, if pushed, over its nuclear stand-off with the West.
Iran produces ‘own F-18’

Tehran’s ‘Thunder’ manufactured domestically, ‘should outperform’ US equivalent.

TEHRAN - Iran on Wednesday said it has developed a new warplane named "Thunder," which it described as similar to the American F-18 fighter jet.

The fighter jet is "similar to the F-18 fighter jet, but it is more capable and has been manufactured domestically," the commander of the Iranian army General Attollah Salehi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

Iranian state television reported that the jet "is able to fire rockets and also to drop bombs and is equipped with an advanced radar system.
"The fighter jet Saegheh (Thunder), after successful military operations and accurately firing air-to-surface rockets in the Zolfaghar Blow maneuvers, came into the service of the Iranian air force today," the report said.

The air force, army and navy have been showing off their capabilities and new hardware for the last month in the Zolfaghar Blow war games, which come amid mounting international concern over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The report added "the plane, which has flown dozens of experimental flights during the last year, joined the air force with full fighting capacity."
Salehi told IRNA the jet was "designed, remodeled, optimized and made more capable by our engineers," and added that "no country has aided us in its production."

On Wednesday Iran also announced it has developed a 2,000 pound guided bomb named Ghased, or "Messenger," aimed at enhancing its defensive capabilities.

"Within the framework of enhancing our defense capabilities and in accordance with our deterrent principles, we have designed and manufactured a 2,000 pound (900-kilogram) guided bomb," Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

A guided bomb typically uses laser technology to more accurately hit its target and is a weapon commonly used by the world's air forces.
US President George W. Bush on Tuesday called Iran's leaders "tyrants" as dangerous as Al-Qaeda terrorists and said they must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons -- "the tools of mass murder."

Tehran has insisted that it seeks only civilian nuclear power, but is facing a US drive for sanctions on the UN Security Council after missing a deadline ordering it to halt sensitive uranium enrichment operations.
It seems to be a re-modeled F-5E
September 7th, 2006  
glad to see chinas oil money being spent on something. but seriously, even if it can outperform the f-18, i doubt that the avionics and radar systems are as advanced. the guided 2000 lb bomb is worrisome though.
September 7th, 2006  
That Iron bird is superior than hornet?
Making bird is so easy?
September 7th, 2006  
Team Infidel
Originally Posted by sandy
That Iron bird is superior than hornet?
Making bird is so easy?
but the pilots aren't

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