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-led coalition warplanes hit IS near Syria's Al-Bab

Florida airport shooter ‘inspired’ by IS jiahdists

Palestinian home demolitions spark deadly violence

Iran opposes US joining Syria talks

Syria war forces elderly to take shelter in retirement homes

Istanbul nightclub attacker 'received orders from IS'

Turkish border officials refuse entry to NYT reporter

Fatah, Hamas agree to form unity government

Snowden’s stay in Russia extended by two years

East Syria clashes continue between IS, regime forces

Syrian general, 8 soldiers killed in tunnel blast

Turkey snubs UN hearing on detained Rwanda genocide judge

Rouhani calls for end to Saudi ‘interference’ across region

Saudi says China rise source of global stability not conflict

Lengthy drought leaves Somalia with serious famine risk

Gunman found in comfy Istanbul flat

Iran, Syria sign phone, petrol deals in Tehran

Jordan charges 8 with inciting opposition against regime

Iranian president rules out renegotiating nuclear deal

Turkey prosecutors demand up to 142 years in jail for Kurd leader

180 dead after boat capsizes in Mediterranean

Saudi carries out first death sentence of 2017

Libyan granted right to sue UK ex-minister for rendition

Syria regime, rebels name heads of delegation for Astana talks

Istanbul nightclub attacker captured

Syria troops, IS jihadists battle on in Deir Ezzor

Israel occupation forces rearrest Palestinian journalist

Russian FM says Syria peace talks to ‘consolidate’ ceasefire

Amnesty warns EU's anti-terror laws threaten human rights

Saudi health emergency after mass food poisoning

Darfur rebel groups rebuilding their forces in Libya, South Sudan

Saudi FM says Washington, Riyadh interests align

Morocco parliament elects new speaker

Hamas rejects ‘absurd’ Paris peace conference

Israeli army shoots dead Palestinian in West Bank clashes

Obama warns Trump against undoing Iran deal on anniversary

Turkish policeman who assassinated Russian ambassador buried in unmarked grave

EU foreign affairs chief says bloc will stand by Iran deal

UN judge caught in Turkey coup probe leaves Rwanda court blocked

Tunisia receives two more US patrol boats

Libya forces retake Benghazi district from jihadists

Turkey roadside bomb kills three policemen

Iraq forces retake IS-bombed shrine in Mosul

Palestinians, Israelis look ahead to Trump's America

Heavy snow traps 1,000 motorists in Tunisia