Meet Iran’s new fighter

No, it’s not the Blue Angels.

Iran today has released the most impressive images yet of the Saegheh (“lightning”) fighter: a Northrop F-5 modified with a V-tail. The images came from a public flight test at Tehran’s Mehrabad airport.

Why are they painted in the same color scheme as the Blue Angels?

Answer: I don’t have a clue, but I think it’s very funny.

[UPDATE: Click here to read Graham Warwick at The Woracle blog tell us what the Iranians may be up to with design changes that include the bizarre V-tail and mysteriously enlarged inlets.]







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24 Responses to Meet Iran’s new fighter

  1. Mike G 20 September, 2007 at 5:20 pm #

    angel envy

  2. HerkEng 20 September, 2007 at 6:19 pm #

    Is this a reversed engineered F-5 or is it a converted F-5?

    Either way, I am laughing so hard I do not know what to do with myself…


    Take a mediocre airplane, wait 35 years, and re invent it.

    Wait…They could have made a quad tailed F-14A…that would at least have people talking.

    Or in Farsi—
    این مرگ به آمریکااست که آنهامستحق باشند !!
    بلندایران وبهترینش راازبهترین ایستگاه مخابرات هواپیمائی جنگنده زندگی می کند !!!
    مرگ به مغرب !

  3. Stephen Trimble 20 September, 2007 at 6:25 pm #

    Hi HerkEng,

    I’ll take you word on the Farsi.

    The Iranians call this the beginnings of their own fighter aircraft manufacturing industry.

  4. Peter Bos 21 September, 2007 at 9:30 am #

    One thing it does do is make clear that the F/A 18 has a Northrop pedigree.
    This was even more obvious in an Iranian F5 version with it’s wing mounted in the middel of the fuselage.

    What happened to that one.
    Are there multiple versions being made in Iran? And if so can That be explained as a growing expertise in aircraft engineering?

    replacing a wing seems more difficult to me than just repositioning a tail.

  5. HerkEng 21 September, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    Do you have pictures of the mid-wing F-5? I have not seen that.

    My question is, Why reinvent an F-5? It was a low cost, little used, not capable aircraft back 35 years ago… Iran has many more capable aircraft they could have used.

  6. Yaar 21 September, 2007 at 11:52 pm #

    Some might laugh at the copy idea but do remember that for dogfights the F16a and F5 are still the best planes. In some aspects the F5 is even better then F16 (roll rate). We have not seen the weapons, the avionics and thrust parameters to say that it is not valuable. I think that it is build for cap and will do just fine…

    Surely Rafale, EF2000, JSF or F22 will be better but at what costs and we have seen F16 beating F22 or Gripen beating EF2000 (without backup and radar)… Small agile planes are still a nightmare.

  7. fache 22 September, 2007 at 3:24 am #

    I think its a new variant F-518!
    Good, nice innovation…

  8. King Solo 22 September, 2007 at 9:41 pm #

    Where’s the originality? Why is it not surprising Iran has joined the “axis of evildoers” like Russia, China and North Korea whose narrow mindedness and arrogance is simply to emulate and produce copies of Western aircraft? If this is achievement, it seems that quality and any sense of creativity has been suppressed. What is that not surprising? I can only but be amused at this circus act. Bring on the clowns.

  9. imam subekti 23 September, 2007 at 1:41 pm #

    hi guys…

    Iran is not Irak
    Iran is not Saudi Arabia
    Iran is not Egypt
    Iran is not Jordania
    Iran is Iran
    Full stop

    Whatever it’s look alike, that pictures show us how brave Iran is in facing many threats and tit-tet-tit-tet…alone.
    Iran is the best.
    Ahmad Dinejad is the strongest man on earth.
    His people are the strongest in the region.

  10. HerkEng 23 September, 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    imam subekti makes me laugh

  11. mohamed 23 September, 2007 at 9:40 pm #

    congratulations to iran and muslims with the new iranian air force production which as i think will be againest any occupation or enimey which may try to attack “strong IRAN ” not like most of arab countries which helped american forces to take the stole iraqi oil for free ,this is a clear message to all iran not easy to attack ,if tat don they will kill all the american forces in all the gulf .i think bush is not so stupid to do that try.

  12. The DEW Line 23 September, 2007 at 10:16 pm #

    Ok, this is to advise everyone that I will not allow any further comments that write of killing anyone, either American or Iranian, or anyone else for that matter.

    I realize we are writing about warplanes but this blog is not a forum for this kind of ridiculous chest-thumping. So cut it out.

  13. Max deBruyn 24 September, 2007 at 6:16 pm #

    As a new reader, I am amazed at the amount of nothingness that people write when they take the time to write. However, if we all recognize the basic principle that makes the free world strong is that everyone has the right to express their opinions and further to that; if we all exercise the basic fact that all who express their opinion do so with pride of authorship. Respect that and the content of all blog commentary will improve expotentially.
    Having said that: the reverse engineering of aircraft design has been ongoing since the Soviet union started it by simply putting their own name on an airplane as soon as it was delivered from the gifting Nation. The Chineese did one better as they chose to make their own an already stolen design.
    For those not familiar with what I am referring to; do a Wiki on the DC-3 (C-47) (Skytrain) and see the emulations proudly displayed in the respective museums under their own name. Some of them were so dumb that they never even changed the name plates on the avionics.
    Morally corrupt people steal. Morally corrupt nations steal bigger things. Deal with it or for those of you who work in defence industry, keep a closer eye on your fellow employee. What goes in his lunchbox may be more than empty sandwhich wrappers.

  14. Max deBruyn 24 September, 2007 at 6:23 pm #

    The detractors of the F-5E might just take a look at what this aircraft is still doing in countries that use it either as frontline or specialty roles.
    The Patrouile Suisse – Swiss aerobatic team is considered one of the best and they use the F-5. The USAF uses the F-5E continuously as the opposition in the former “Top Gun” program and current “Red Flag’ exercises. Not bad for an over the hill craft described so demeaningly by some posters.
    It is still a wonderfully designed, beautifully aerodynamic pest of a machine whose very agile characteristics have rewarded it with many “David and Goliath” victories.

  15. HerkEng 25 September, 2007 at 3:22 pm #

    For the top gun and the adversary rolls I am sure they use these F-5Es not because they are the best aircraft available but they are very inexpensive to maintain and they are VERY hard to see in a dogfight.

  16. Cadet Casey 4 October, 2007 at 5:31 pm #

    While it’s very impressive what the Iranian aviation industry has managed to develop with scant resources, this new fighter simply won’t make an ounce of difference should an unlikely air battle ensue with the west. The U.S has excellent first-strike capablity in its B-2 bombers and F-22 fighters. If a war ever ensues, most of Iran’s air force will probably be destroyed on the ground by stealthy B-2 and F-22 strikes. But congrats to producing that aircraft, it sure does look pretty at least.

  17. zulkeflinordin 29 March, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    at least , it is a good start. one need to start somewhere. congratulation iran !!!! i believe u can do much more and even much better. keep it up !!!!!!… zulkefli nordin,malaysia.

  18. zeeshan 12 September, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    iran stupid f18 never defeat american airforce

  19. ahmad sharifloo 2 July, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    i think iranian aviation industries are unable to build jet engine and these are F-5 jet engines. but now days they can build shahab-3 missile with at least 1500km range or qased GBU bomb. and we will hope that iranian aviation industries will jump for a big productions and their new sattelite shows their abilities.

    please do not forget JULY 3, 1988

  20. Ritchie 10 November, 2009 at 9:53 pm #

    Nice plane … And beautiful to fly >>>>but do they established Office of the design innovations and insights in the MIC ???.. no … Taken from f5 (Body aircraft a very modest )anyway there are no info about capacity in fight but hope it good in fighting ….rashid from syria

  21. Rachell Wallwork 9 May, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up!

  22. Angel Readings 20 July, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    Wonderful to read!

  23. Radar Detector Reviews 23 July, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Very neat article post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  24. hoseingomez 11 November, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    hi there

    I m an Iranian boy

    saeghe azarakhash and shafagh are Iranian fighters who are good answers to people of USA and EU.

    your boycotts are not made us poor.we will made all of them in Iran.

    what do you have to say about shahab cruises?

    enjoy us on

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