Ahmadinejad Unveils Iranian Stealth Fighter Jet

Sky News3 February 2013

Iran has unveiled a fighter jet military officials claim can evade radar and has been made by Iranian developers.

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

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 the technical details.

The state started producing its own military equipment in the 1980s to compensate for a Western weapons embargo that banned export of military technology and kit to Iran.

The Defence Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, said: "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."

He said it was Iran's best stealth plane.

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

Pictures 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 defences to strike ground targets.

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," President Ahmadinejad said.

"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."

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