Iran to unveil ‘new’ fighter

Iran says here that it will soon unveil — and fly — its first domestically manufactured fighter jet.

(Source: Iran Defense Forum)

This is presumably a reference to a new version of the Northrop F-5F, potentially modified with the Russian RD-33 engine, Iranian radar and avionics, shoulder-mounted air intakes and — most bizarrely — a V-tail. I believe the program has been named Shafagh, but the new release calls it the Azarakhsh.

The program does not appear to demonstrate so much a leap in military capability but in domestic industrial prowess, assuming the aircraft can, indeed, fly.

Developing an indigenous aerospace manufacturing capability has become the hot new fad for countries on the US export control blacklist, with Iran leading the way. Last fall, Venezuela announced it was seeking to develop an indigenous industry to build military fighter trainers after the US blocked Brazil from exporting Super Tucanos to Caracas.


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5 Responses to Iran to unveil ‘new’ fighter

  1. bigfoot 23 July, 2007 at 10:40 pm #

    It doesn’t say when the fighter is expected to be operational, but given the history of Iranian weapons development, “soon” may be a relative term for a civilization thousands of years old.

    Why is it the older the civilization = the longer the weapon development cycle?

    Maybe India and Iran could get together and start work on the first great fighter of the 22nd century.

  2. David 24 July, 2007 at 5:27 pm #

    I was an aero engineering student for only three semesters, but I know that the position of the engine air intake (above and behind the wing strake) will put it in a very low-pressure area at high angles of attack.
    I.e., engine dies in a dogfight.

  3. Alex 24 July, 2007 at 9:21 pm #

    Me, I think it needs bigger tail fins.

  4. bigfoot 25 July, 2007 at 2:23 am #

    Based on David’s observations, I recommend full-scale development of this fighter. I recommend the Iranian Air Force get these into the air as soon as possible. Half assembled, if necessary–the Americans might attack any day now! Allah will keep them flying! Junk all other fighters–streamlining the inventory will reap great logistical rewards.

    Hurry, Mahmoud, hurry!

  5. ahmad 21 September, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    iranian aviation industry after 1980-88 war started to grow. because they foundout that must be grow. but it has some problems to grow. produce,repair and maintaining the engines are most important problems. this aircraft with russian engines can be start to rebuild iranian and syrian airforce and could be a hope for hezbollah. but hezbollah just needs low and medium range and anti-aircraft missiles and airforce for this militiant force is not tactical and is just new money burning for iran. to produce national engines, iran needs to walk through International embargoes. after 2 bad russian aircraft crash and more than 10 emergency landing in iran just for 30 days will annihilate iranian hopes to believe that this is a national aircraft.

    you may see this aircraft on 23 SEP 2009.(maybe)

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