Air Force Equipped with Supersonic Saeqeh 2 Fighter Jets
(FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan elaborated on the country's future plans to further equip its Armed Forces, and said the home-grown double-cockpit supersonic Saeqeh 2 (Thunderbolt 2) fighter jets have been delivered to the Air Force.
"Saeqeh 2 fighters have been delivered to the Air Force and a training jet has also been tested and is ready for manufacturing," Dehqan told reporters on Tuesday in Tehran on the occasion of the National Defense Industry Day.
He explained about the underway projects and future plans pursued by the defense ministry, and said, "We are working on increasing our missiles' precision and want to make them impenetrable to electronic warfare and interception."
Noting that the precision of Iran-made long-range missiles and their lifetime have increased and long-range ballistic missiles with Multiple Reentry Vehicle payloads have been produced, Dehqan said, "We are after turning our ground-based missiles into air-launched missiles."
He also stressed that the Armed Forces have been equipped with the best anti-armored missiles.
Dehqan also elaborated on the new progresses in the Navy, and said, "A new 500-ton subsurface vessel will join the Navy this year and we will take other steps to develop heavy subsurface vessels in future."
He also underlined Iran's efforts to develop the home-made analogue wireless systems into digital ones, and said, "We are also working on the phased-array radars and are on the path to make them passive systems."
Dehqan said that Tehran has also manufactured different types of UAVs, including combat, reconnaissance and surveillance drones, which have attracted many customers from around the world.
Also on the delivery of the Russia-made S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system, he said that Tehran had asked for 3 battalions of S-300, while a fourth system has recently been added to the order.
Asked about staging new missile drills, he said that none of the country's exercises will be delayed or stopped, adding that the country's missile tests are conducted proportionate to the research and production process and the UN Security Council's resolutions cannot stop them.
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in the defense sector and gained self-sufficiency in essential military hardware and defense systems.
The country has repeatedly made it clear that its military might is merely based on the state's defense doctrine of deterrence and that it poses no threat to other countries.
In February, Iran unveiled Saeqeh 2 fighter jet which can also be used for training purposes.
"The double-cockpit supersonic fighter jet, which has been designed and built by the defense ministry's aerospace industries organization in cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran's Air Force, can be used for combat missions, close-range cover and backup in tactical missions, and also advanced pilot training programs," Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said, addressing the unveiling ceremony.
He said the aircraft had been built on the basis of a new design which had maximized its combat power, adding that the plane had also been equipped with advanced electro-avionics and weapons systems to train pilots for flying with the existing or new heavy fighters.
Also early February, a senior Iranian Air Force commander announced that the country was planning to build a new high-tech combat aircraft capable of tracing US and Israeli modern and stealth planes.
"… we will manufacture an aircraft on Saeqeh platform which will be equipped with Fourth generation (and even higher) avionics …," Commander of Air Force's Owj Complex Colonel Houshang Monfaredzadeh said in an exclusive interview with FNA.
He reiterated that Iran was reaching a level of expertise that it would soon be able to manufacture a totally different aircraft in terms of electronic, radar and avionic systems as well as weaponry equipment.
Asked why Saeqeh platform was used for developing new planes, Colonel Monfaredzadeh said, "In all parts of the world it is the same and they choose the platform of one of their aircraft (for developing others) and we have also selected Saeqeh for this purpose …"
In September 2010, Iran displayed the first squadron of its Saeqeh fighters in an air show staged during the military parades at the beginning of the Week of Sacred Defense, marking Iranians' sacrifices during the 8 years of Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s.
In September 2011, the Iranian Air Force's first squadron of home-made Saeqeh fighter jets started operations during the large offensive air drills codenamed "Fadaeeyan-e Harim-e Vellayat III" in Northwestern Iran.
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Air Force Brigadier General Alireza Barkhor announced in February 2014 that the new model of Iran's home-made Saeqeh jet fighter would be unveiled in the future.
"We will fly the new model of Iran's new Saeqeh fighter very soon," Brigadier General Barkhor said.
Also in the same month, Iranian Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shah Safi announced that his forces had focused all their power and energy on building fighter jets as they believed that future wars were fought and won in the sky.
“It is obvious that future wars will be in the sky with massive air and missile raids; therefore, the Air Force has adopted a new approach and focused all its internal power on building fighter jets in a self-driven, but organized way,” Shah Safi said, addressing foreign states’ military attachés in Iran.
He said that the Iranian Air Force’s efforts had resulted in the building of Saeqeh fighter jets.
Yet, the Air Force commander reiterated the defensive doctrine of the Islamic Republic, saying Tehran had the narrowest military budget among the regional countries.