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Wed, Sep 06, 2006

Iran Unveils A Home-Grown Fighter Jet

The Saber-Rattling Continues In Southwest Asia

Iran is developing its own home-grown fighter jet. Looking very much like a F-5 (file photo of type, right), Iranian state-run television says it's "more powerful" because it was "designed, optimised and improved by Iranian experts" according to the Associated Press.

Named "Saegheh" (translates to "Lightning" in English) in one AP story, the single-seat aircraft is purportedly capable of employing both rockets and bombs.

Iran unveiled the aircraft during the large-scale military excercises they are calling "The Blow of Zolfaghar" that began in August of this year. In a televised interview Iranian Air Force Commander General Karim Ghavami said the excercises are intended "to show the trans-regional forces that we are ready to defend our country up to the latest drop of our blood."

Iran has debuted several new weapon systems during a series of war games over the past years. As ANN previously reported, Iran has recently tested both a long-range submarine-to-surface missile, a short-range surface-to-surface missile, and is purportedly working on a "stealth missile."

Iran claims it intends to reduce and/or eliminate reliance on foriegn sources for its weapons, saying it exports over $100 million worth of military equipment annually.



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