Iran rolls out “stealth’ unmanned aircraft

Iran unveiled on 9 May what it claims is a new stealthy unmanned combat aircraft called the Hamaseh. According to the official FARS state news agency, the Hamaseh–which means Epic in Farsi–can be used for both intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike missions.

FARS-drone.jpg“This drone has been built by defense industry experts and is simultaneously capable of surveillance, reconnaissance and missile and rocket attacks,” Iranian defense minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi tells Iranian state television. “This aircraft with its stealth quality can avoid detection by the enemy,” he adds.

Iranian deputy defense minister for industrial and research affairs Mohammad Eslami says that the Hemaseh has improved capabilities compared to previous Iranian-built unmanned aircraft, according to FARS. It apparently flies at higher altitudes and has better endurance.

The Hamaseh bears similarities to Western unmanned aircraft like the Israeli-developed Aeronautics Defense Systems Aerostar and the US-built AAI Corporation RQ-7 Shadow.  While the Hamaseh appears to be a viable design, the assertions that it is a stealth aircraft are patently ridiculous as the aircraft has none of requisite features found on a low observable platform.

Iran has made dubious assertions about developing technologically advanced combat aircraft before. Earlier in February, the country rolled-out the Qaher-313 “stealth fighter” with much fanfare, but Western analysts immediately ridiculed the aircraft for what it was–a subscale mock-up best used for domestic propaganda.

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