Iran unveils its own stealth fighter

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Saturday unveiled its newest combat jet, a domestically manufactured fighter-bomber that military officials claim can evade radar.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a ceremony broadcast on state TV that building the Qaher F-313, or Dominant F-313, shows Iran’s will to “conquer scientific peaks.”

The Qaher is one of several aircraft designs the Iranian military has rolled out since 2007. Tehran has repeatedly claimed to have developed advanced military technologies in recent years, but its claims cannot be independently verified because the country does not release technical details of its arsenals.

The Islamic republic launched a self-sufficient military program in the 1980s to compensate for a Western weapons embargo that banned export of military technology and equipment to Iran. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, torpedoes, drones and fighter planes.

“Qaher is a fully indigenous aircraft designed and built by our aerospace experts. This is a radar-evading plane that can fly at low altitude, carry weapons, engage enemy aircrafts and land at short airstrips,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said.

Vahidi said advanced materials were used to manufacture the body of the aircraft, making it Iran’s best stealth plane.

However, some reports suggest that Iran’s program relies on equipment supplied by major international defense contractors and that it incorporates parts made abroad or uses outside engineered technologies in its domestic designs.

Still photos of the Qaher released by the official IRNA news agency and pictures on state TV showed a single-seat jet. They described it as a fighter-bomber that can combat other aircraft and ground targets.

Iran’s English-language state Press TV said Qaher was similar to the American-made F/A-18, an advanced fighter capable of dogfighting as well as penetrating enemy air defenses to strike ground targets.

But Hasan Parvaneh, an official in charge of the project, said the physical design of the Iranian plane was unique and bore no resemblance to any foreign fighter jet.

“Development depends on our will. If we don’t have a will, no one can take us there,” Ahmadinejad told the inauguration ceremony in Tehran. “Once we imported cars and assembled them here. Now, we are at a point where we can design, build and get planes in the air.”

Ahmadinejad said Qaher was built for deterrence.

“It’s not for expansionism. It’s for deterrence,” he said, claiming the aircraft was among the most advanced fighter jets in the world.

In 2007, Iran unveiled what it said was its first domestically manufactured fighter jet, called Azarakhsh or Lightning. In the same year, it claimed that Azarakhsh had reached industrial production stage.

Saeqeh, or Thunder, was a follow-up aircraft derived from Azarakhsh. Iran unveiled its first squadron of Saeqeh fighter bombers in an air show in September 2010.

More in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

After work to address issues, Lynnwood gets clean audit

The city has benefited from increased revenues from sales tax.

Bolshevik replaces BS in Eyman’s voters pamphlet statement

The initiative promoter also lost a bid to include a hyperlink to online coverage of the battle.

Man with shotgun confronts man on toilet about missing phone

Police say the victim was doing his business when the suspect barged in and threatened him.

Detectives seek suspect in woman’s homicide

Alisha Michelle Canales-McGuire was shot to death Wednesday at a home south of Paine Field.

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

Injured hiker rescued near Granite Falls

Woman fell and hit her head on a rock Saturday, and her condition worsened overnight.

Two teens struck by truck in Lynnwood

The teens, between the ages of 14 and 16, were taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Most Read