Iran stresses plan to manufacture heavy fighter jets

FNA- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami declared his country’s plans to build heavy fighter jets.

“Strengthening the Air Force is among the main plans of the defense ministry and God willing, we are to have some good moves to develop the strategic air power,” General Hatami said on Wednesday.

“The main pivot of these plans is designing and building heavy fighter jets that is already underway,” he added.

Stressing that Iran will continue increasing its defense power, General Hatami reiterated that Tehran would never negotiate its defense power and capability.

In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in the defense sector and gained self-sufficiency in essential military hardware and defense systems.

The country has repeatedly made it clear that its military might is merely based on the state’s defense doctrine of deterrence and that it poses no threat to other countries.

In February 2015, Iran unveiled a new home-made combat fighter, named Saeqeh 2 (Thunderbolt 2), which can also be used for training purposes.

“The double-cockpit supersonic fighter jet, which has been designed and built by the defense ministry’s aerospace industries organization in cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Air Force, can be used for combat missions, close-range cover and backup in tactical missions, and also advanced pilot training programs,” General Hatami, the then deputy defense minister, said at the time, addressing the unveiling ceremony.

He said the aircraft had been built on the basis of a new design which had maximized its combat power, adding that the plane had also been equipped with advanced electro-avionics and weapons systems to train pilots for flying with the existing or new heavy fighters.

Also in the same month, a senior Iranian Air Force commander announced that the country was planning to build a new high-tech combat aircraft capable of tracing US and Israeli modern and stealth planes.

“… we will manufacture an aircraft on Saeqeh platform which will be equipped with Fourth generation (and even higher) avionics …,” Commander of Air Force’s Owj Complex Colonel Houshang Monfaredzadeh said in an exclusive interview with FNA.

He reiterated that Iran was reaching a level of expertise that it would soon be able to manufacture a totally different aircraft in terms of electronic, radar and avionic systems as well as weaponry equipment.

Asked why Saeqeh platform was used for developing new planes, Colonel Monfaredzadeh said, “In all parts of the world it is the same and they choose the platform of one of their aircraft (for developing others) and we have also selected Saeqeh for this purpose …”

In September 2010, Iran displayed the first squadron of its Saeqeh fighters in an air show staged during the military parades at the beginning of the Week of Sacred Defense, marking Iranians’ sacrifices during the 8 years of Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s.

In September 2011, the Iranian Air Force’s first squadron of home-made Saeqeh fighter jets started operations during the large offensive air drills codenamed “Fadaeeyan-e Harim-e Vellayat III” in Northwestern Iran.