Iran plans to unveil its new fighter jet, Qaher-313, next week, while continuing its missiles development, Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced on Saturday.
Last week, speaking at the unveiling of the new, pin-pointing missile Fateh Mobin in Tehran, Hatami declared: “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s missile power is a defensive deterrent power and as I had promised our dear people, I will not spare any efforts to increase the country’s missile capabilities and certainly, we will increase our missile power on a daily basis.”
Back in 2013, then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and then Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi announced plans to manufacture the Qaher-313. An Iranian-made single-seat stealth fighter aircraft. Independent experts have expressed significant doubts about the viability of the aircraft.
Flight Global cited anonymous Israeli experts who said Iran’s “indigenous fighter jet” was nothing more than a “very sleek plastic model,” and “The whole impression is of some plastic parts pasted to an old flying platform.” One expert said the Qaher-313 on display seemed too small to be a capable fighter.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Iranian Army Aviation Commander General Yousef Qorbani declared plans to shift the mission of its home-made long-range missiles – possibly alluding to the Army Aviation Unit’s plans to modify ground- and sea-based missiles to be shot from helicopters.
Hatami said the new jet will be presented to the public on National Defense Industry Day, August 22, and assured his audience that “people will see it fly.”
Critics have been voicing their doubts as to the Qaher-313’s ability to soar to the sky.
Iran’s air force’s efforts to build the homespun stealth fighter jet have been hampered by international sanctions and embargoes. The project has relied on US fighter aircraft acquired before the 1979 Iranian revolution, as well as several Russian jets it has had in its inventory.