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The Qaher F-313 Stealth Fighter: Iran's New Aircraft
To commemorate the Iranian revolution of 1979, Iran has unveiled its latest new fighter bomber aircraft, the Qaher F-313 or Dominent F-313. The plane looks like a copy in many ways of the American F-22, and why not, always copy from the best (like the Russians and Chinese). This is Iran's first new military jet since 2007, when they released the Azarakhsh (Lightning), an aircraft made from many American F-5 spare parts Iran has in their inventory. The Saeqeh (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.
The Qaher F-313 is for deterrence, so its government states, but we all know it is not the case. Regardless, eyewitnesses state the F-313 resembles a cheap version of the F-22 but it does fly as proven in promotional videos. The Iranian Defense Minister stated, "This is a radar-evading plane that can fly at low altitude, carry weapons, engage enemy aircraft and land at short airstrips." Iranian witnesses state that it is more like the American F-18 in capabilities but specifics about the the aircraft have not been released.
Whether the new aircraft can evade radar as well as the American version remains to be seen, and because Iran's technology is at least a generation behind the Americans, it is likely that the F-313 would be easily dealt with. Since Iran cannot buy aircraft from Russia or China due to sanctions, they are really on their own. So far, there is only one F-313. So, for Iran, it is all about public relations.