(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.
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.