First Published: 2006-09-06

 
Iran produces ‘own F-18’
 

Tehran’s ‘Thunder’ manufactured domestically, ‘should outperform’ US equivalent.

 

Middle East Online

An F-18 challenger

TEHRAN - Iran on Wednesday said it has developed a new warplane named "Thunder," which it described as similar to the American F-18 fighter jet.

The fighter jet is "similar to the F-18 fighter jet, but it is more capable and has been manufactured domestically," the commander of the Iranian army General Attollah Salehi was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.

Iranian state television reported that the jet "is able to fire rockets and also to drop bombs and is equipped with an advanced radar system.

"The fighter jet Saegheh (Thunder), after successful military operations and accurately firing air-to-surface rockets in the Zolfaghar Blow maneuvers, came into the service of the Iranian air force today," the report said.

The air force, army and navy have been showing off their capabilities and new hardware for the last month in the Zolfaghar Blow war games, which come amid mounting international concern over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The report added "the plane, which has flown dozens of experimental flights during the last year, joined the air force with full fighting capacity."

Salehi told IRNA the jet was "designed, remodeled, optimized and made more capable by our engineers," and added that "no country has aided us in its production."

On Wednesday Iran also announced it has developed a 2,000 pound guided bomb named Ghased, or "Messenger," aimed at enhancing its defensive capabilities.

"Within the framework of enhancing our defense capabilities and in accordance with our deterrent principles, we have designed and manufactured a 2,000 pound (900-kilogram) guided bomb," Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

A guided bomb typically uses laser technology to more accurately hit its target and is a weapon commonly used by the world's air forces.

US President George W. Bush on Tuesday called Iran's leaders "tyrants" as dangerous as Al-Qaeda terrorists and said they must not be allowed to get nuclear weapons -- "the tools of mass murder."

Tehran has insisted that it seeks only civilian nuclear power, but is facing a US drive for sanctions on the UN Security Council after missing a deadline ordering it to halt sensitive uranium enrichment operations.

 

US says Assad may be preparing another chemical attack

Rouhani seizes opportunity to get closer to Qatar

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Prime time for Ramadan on Gulf fashion calendar

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy