Photo Credit: IRNA
The Qaher F-313

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossien Dehghan on Saturday unveiled its new single-seat, twin-engine Qaher (Dominant) F-313, which is hailed as being able to land on short airstrips, has a low radar cross section that would allow it to remain effectively invisible to enemy radar, is equipped with additional fuel tanks and internal bomb bays.”

The “fully indigenous aircraft,” as Tehran Times described it, making it sound suspiciously like it had evolved rather was manufactured, can fly at low altitudes, carry weapons, and accomplish close air support and reconnaissance missions.

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Plans for the F-313 were announced in 2013 by then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi, neither of whom still holds those jobs.

It should be noted that independent experts have expressed significant doubts about the viability of the aircraft, and some commentators have even suggested the whole thing is a hoax. Media sources outside Iran have suggested that the demonstrated aircraft may be a scale prototype or mock up. Cyrus Amini, of the BBC News Persian Service, also claimed that the aircraft “looks like a cheap copy of the American F22.”

In 2007, Iran unveiled what it said was its first domestically manufactured fighter jet, Azarakhsh (Lightning), and calimed that it had reached the stage of industrial production.

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