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.

 

Syria Foreign Minister in Iran to discuss situation in Middle East

Nusra Front captures more US-trained rebels in northwestern Syria

Yemen retakes biggest airbase from rebels

'New PKK attacks' target security forces in southeastern Turkey

Mediterranean migrant deaths reach tragic milestone in 2015

Violence in Yemen pushes health system to the brink of collapse

Israel court orders extremist Jewish leader to be kept in detention

Suspect in Kuwait mosque attack admits affiliation with ISIS

Head of Taliban's Qatar office quits as leadership rift deepens

Amnesty accuses Sudan of 'war crimes' in South Kordofan

Officials in Damascus play down US warning to Syria regime

Turkish air strikes increase pressure on Iraq Kurdish leadership

British oil company investigated for Somalia corruption

EU to Turkey: Be proportionate in your response to PKK

Two Turkish soldiers killed in new PKK attack

Britain extends air strikes in Iraq by a year

US may take 'additional steps' to defend allied fighters in Syria

Israel ex-security chiefs to Netanyahu: Accept Iran deal as ‘fait accompli’

Turkey will do 'whatever necessary' in fight against militants

US agrees to ‘expedite’ arms sales to Gulf countries

President of Iraq Kurdistan vows to avenge Yazidi minority

PKK claims deadly suicide bombing against troops in eastern Turkey

Sudan rebels offered guarantees to attend talks

Pro-Hadi forces target rebel-held base as coalition forces enter Aden

Israel's president threatened over 'Jewish Terrorism' comments

French beach returns to public after departure of Saudi King

Syria army plane crashes in rebel-held town of Ariha

Iran bans newspaper owned by nuclear deal critic

More Yemen refugees look for shelter in Djibouti

Erdogan: Putin may give up on Assad

Yemen rebel leader says political settlement still possible

Egypt leader amends electoral law

Saudi king cuts short French Riviera holiday

Kerry in Qatar for talks on Iran nuclear deal

UAE prosecutor refers 41 people to trial on terrorism charges

Kerry to Middle East allies: Iran deal will make region safer

Egypt court again postpones verdict in retrial of Jazeera reporters

Al-Nusra Front releases video to show ‘capture’ of US-trained rebels

Israel faces mounting pressure after baby killing in arson attack

'PKK suicide attack' kills two soldiers in eastern Turkey

Egypt court postpones verdict on brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri

Immigration surpasses economy as major concern in Europe

Plane crash kills family members of Bin Laden

Iraq protesters vent anger over poor services

ISIS flexes muscles in eastern Libya