An Iranian commander said the Air Force has started to develop a heavy fighter jet after its success in manufacturing the Kowsar warplane.
In an interview with Tasnim, Iranian Air Force Deputy Commander Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi said the process of manufacturing a homegrown heavy fighter jet has begun.
He said local experts came up with the idea of manufacturing a heavy fighter jet after the successful production of Kowsar, an Iranian jet with indigenized avionics and homegrown engines that, contrary to claims raised by critics, has nothing to do with the F-5 fighter aircraft.
The general also pointed to military projects to upgrade the radar capabilities of the Air Force’s planes, saying good progress has been made in this field.
Iran has also achieved great success in increasing the stealth capabilities of various types of aircraft, Brigadier General Vahedi said, noting that the new achievements will be unveiled after final tests.
The commander highlighted Iran’s progress in developing air-launched standoff missiles, saying local experts have extended the range of Sidewinder air-to-air missile, which is mounted on the F-5 jet, from 5 miles to 12 miles.
This enhanced range would be very effective in aerial combats, he added.
The general further pointed to the breakthrough that Iran has made in the drone industry, saying the homegrown Karrar pilotless aircraft has successfully dropped a 500-pound bomb which is going to become a weapon with pinpoint accuracy.
The Air Force has also furnished the Ababil-3 drones with rockets, Vahedi said, adding that programs are underway to equip the Ababil and Kaman UAVs with Qaem-1 and Qaem-5 smart bombs.
Iran has in recent years made great headways in manufacturing a broad range of military equipment, including air defense systems that use cutting-edge technologies.
Tehran has repeatedly stressed that its military might is defensive in nature and poses no threat to other countries.