Iran test flies indigenous fighter jet

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Iran has successfully conducted flight tests on an indigenously designed fighter jet, the Azarakhsh. Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industries (HESA) confirmed that the flight took place on 5 August, but was unable to provide further information.

The country's official news agency IRNA reports that the aircraft was designed and built by the defence ministry, the army and HESA. A second aircraft will also be test flown in the near future, it adds.

"The Azarakhsh fighter plan is now at the stage of industrial production and its mass production will start in the future," the agency quotes defence minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar as saying. This will lead to the "manufacturing of the fifth-generation of Iranian aircraft", he adds.

According to various reports, Iran started work on the Azarakhsh in 2002 and reportedly bases it on technology from the Northrop Grumman F-14 Tomcat. It is also working on another fighter based on the Northrop F-5.