Flashpoints

Iran Unveils “Stealth” Fighter: Qaher F-313

The single-seat Qaher F-313, or Conqueror-313 was unveiled Saturday.

By Amrutha Gayathri from International Buisness Times for

(The following is a guest post from our friends at International Buisness Times.)

Iran unveiled a new home-made combat aircraft Saturday, which military officials say can evade radar.

The single-seat Qaher F-313, or Conqueror-313, is the latest design produced by the Islamic Republic, which began developing its own military equipment in the 1980s due to a Western embargo on military technology and equipment.

Addressing a ceremony to unveil the new aircraft, which coincided with the 34th anniversary of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran’s armed forces are not meant for “expansionism and aggression against other countries” and are “deterrent” by nature, Iran's state-run Press TV reported.

Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Saturday that the aircraft had a “very low radar cross section” and was capable of operating at low altitudes, Press TV report stated.

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He added that the aircraft was capable of carrying advanced armaments and could take off and land on short runways.

Press TV said the Qaher was similar to the U.S.-made F/A-18, an advanced fighter introduced in the 1980s and capable of carrying out reconnaissance and strike missions, as well as air-to-air combat, by day or night and in all weather conditions.

Those claims are impossible to verify independently, and the model unveiled on Saturday might have been an unflyable mock-up without engines.*

Amrutha Gayathri is a reporter for International Buisness Times, where this piece first appeared.

Editor's Note: The text has been updated from the previous version.