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Iranian fighter developments (with photos)

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posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 10:23 AM
Why is Iranian rearmament so under reported by the Western aviation press? The indigenous Iranian fighter shown in these illustrations and photos looks like a development of the US supplied F-5 fighter, but with new engines, wing and twin fins. It is thought to be in limited service. The missiles shown in the drawing, which comes from an Iranian publication, shows Russian AA-11 Archer advanced short range missile, approximately equivalent to the latest AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. This shows Russian technology being used and probably design assistance too. Probably a good match for F16 and F18.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 10:46 AM
Those htree pictures do not show the same plane, the middle one (the real aeroplane among the three pics) is the, pardon my ignorant spelling, Shaeg-80, which is no more than an F-5 with an extra fin, the others are maybe what the Iranians would like to build no doubt, and very attractive too.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 10:48 AM
I agree with you Waynos, The plane looks very much like the American F/A-18... Wonder why...??? maybe the rest of the world has finally realized that the Hornet is the best fighter nowadys...

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 11:26 AM
The mention of the the AA-11 Archer being equivalent to the AIM-9x, how in the heck can you make this statement. You have absolutely no grounds or information to make this assertion, blind propaganda, AGAIN. The AIM series are dam good, and with the introduction of the new 9x, developed to be the baddest of the bunch, show me something that would make me belive the archer is on par with the 9x.


posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 12:43 PM
The germans say so:

when the reunified they got the MiG-29`s and the missiles, the very nearly scrapped the AIM-9`s to use the russian AA-11`s as they are much better.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 12:45 PM

Originally posted by Harlequin
The germans say so:

when the reunified they got the MiG-29`s and the missiles, the very nearly scrapped the AIM-9`s to use the russian AA-11`s as they are much better.

I believe those were earlier model AIM-9s. The AIM-9X is just being introduced right now.

posted on Nov, 26 2005 @ 01:23 PM

Something i heard a while back was that the old british Redtop missile had a better seaker and better overall performance than the AIM-9J and was only *just* superseeded by the AIM-9L , and that was only in the `all aspect` of teh missile , other performance and the AIM-9L wasn`t as good , and red top was in service in 1964!!

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 07:44 AM
Please don’t assume that I am speaking from ignorance, nor infer that I am wanting to engage in needless bickering abut the AIM-9 with over zealous but ultimately uninformed enthusiasts with patriotic bias’.

In my previous post, the top photo is the new plane, almost certainly a prototype. It does NOT appear to be in any way based on the F-18, merely equivalent in terms of ‘class’. In fact, the F16 is probably a closer equivalent. Whilst the F-18 is NOT the best etc, it is almost certainly better one for one than this new Iranian plane.

The middle pic has been around for a while and probably shows a development aircraft. Note the F5 intake position rather than the shoulder mounted intakes of the production model.

The bottom scan is of a drawing for public consumption. As such it is inherently unreliable in detail (the engines appear too big and the intakes further forward than the top photo). But it must all the same be based on some degree of truth, as supported by the top photo. It is supporting evidence of the new fighter.

As for the AA-11 v AIM-9X, I said equivalent not better or worse.

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:11 AM
I certainly don't assume anything of the sort and, for me, your post is welcome as it has brought to my attention a design I have not seen before , however I don't feel that the top picture is a photo at all, it looks more like a render, but this could be down to its small size, do you have a larger copy?

Also, in the interest of accuracy, I will answer this comment;

Originally posted by planeman

The middle pic has been around for a while and probably shows a development aircraft. Note the F5 intake position rather than the shoulder mounted intakes of the production model.

I urge you to look again, that is not a development aircraft of a new design with its intakes in a different position. It is an F-5 with two fins as I said in my first reply here.

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:26 AM
Thanks, I didn’t mean to appear hostile. But I am used to discussing this sort of stuff with professionals and am new to this type of open forum, I will hopefully pick up the right attitude not to annoy you all.

There are limits to what I can tell you, but I will try to clarify things. The top picture is a photo taken clandestinely in Iran by a politically motivated civilian who happened to be near the airbase. Same as early poor quality pictures of the Chinese J-10 were similarly leaked to the west. It is widely distributed within the aviation press and intelligence community and is not ‘classified’. Being small and of poor quality is typical of digital pictures of moving objects taken by amateurs trying not to be noticed so doing. And typical of the first public images of new fighter designs in non-open countries. It is the bread and butter of intelligence.

The middle picture is an F-5 with double fins and slightly modified air intakes. It is a photo of a TV screen and again is widely circulated. In aircraft development projects it is usual to have development aircraft which are modifications of existing types. I believe the middle pic shows a fly-by-wire demonstrator/development aircraft. The new type appears to have some airframe commonality with the F5 which Iran has extensive experience of, which makes sense.

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:39 AM
Yes, that explanation of the F-5 in the middle pic makes a lot of sense, here in the uk at the beginning of the Typhoon's development a Jaguar was modified as an FBW flight test vehicle in exactly the same way. I bit because your comment on it did, to me anyways, seem to be trying to say it was a prototype of the new fighter itself when you remarked that the intakes were in a different place.

As to the top picture, again your explanation makes sense but yet the picture still does not fit. It seems too smooth and not pixellated in the way a zoom on a digital photo would look (I've done this myself). Do you have any information like a name or an approximate first flight date for this prototype?

edit; I have just blown up the image to 4mb and it seems to use the F-5 fuselage and wing in an otherwise heavily modified design. Whether this is a real plane or a plastic model thats been 'what if'ed' (a hobby of my own) I cannot say. My gut instinct is a model that I may just try and copy with an unbuiltF-5 kit I have laying around

[edit on 27-11-2005 by waynos]

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 02:13 PM
I believe this plane to be called Azarakhsh but there is a bit of a question mark over that as Iranian sources are not consistant and several projects are often confused. In particular there is another middleweight fighter design under development with assistance of Mig, the “shafagh” sometimes also romanized as “shafaq”. This design is about the same size and is featured in this thread:
where it is rightly also called the “Mig-I” and “Mig LFI”. Whoever suggested that it was a photoshop of a YF23 in that thread was far off the money. The Shafagh is likely to be multi-role whereas the Azarakhsh is probably an interceptor with poor air-ground capabilities, but that’s just an informed guess.

Re the top picture again, no definitely a photo. Models rarely have the undercarriage in mid-retraction. Also, the yellow-ish paint is the prima finish.

Mod Edit: Fixed Link.

[edit on 27/11/2005 by Mirthful Me]

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 05:15 PM
Ah yes, I am aware of the Shafagh, thank you
Regarding the one we've been talking about, as soon as I have seen further sources on it (as I said your post was the first I've heard of it) then I will of course come back and eat humble pie

posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 05:39 PM
No, keep talking, I’m coming down from my high horse and enjoying the dialog.

What reasonable estimations can we make from the pictures?

I think that it is an older project than the Shafagh, and in many ways is a legacy project. Although it incorporates some ‘modern’ technology, I doubt that it is cutting edge, unlike the shafagh.

It is also quite unlike any other modern fighter in terms of configuration. The wing is uncommon for (single) delta aircraft as is the twin tail.

The forward fuselage appears to be F-5 right down to the twin cannon. Probably a new radar, maybe Russian.

It is probably equipped with AA-11 Archer missiles (see bottom pic) and AA-10 and/or AA-12. It is probably highly maneuverable in general terms but no reason to believe it is exceptional in this regard.

I would have thought it is wholly unstealthy and short ranged.

Although some may be tempted to post a load of stats about F-16 or F-18 to show how superior they probably are, that line of thought is an irrelevant distraction. The real question is whether it poses a significant threat to US or Other Middle Eastern air forces in a scenario where it is deployed defensively. Could it compromise the UAE’s F-16 and M2k air superiority over the gulf?

In my view, yes. Whilst it may not be perfect, it probably represents a real threat to anyone trying to overfly the gulf or Iran itself, even current Western types.


posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 05:55 PM
As most of you are right, Saegeh-80 remains a test demonstraiter probably for Iranian made PGM's/AGM, If they are in production than are indeed for patroling/bombing/ or defending aircraft. Iranian PGM's have been tested alot nowadays including this picture of F-4 doing a live test for the first time of our complete Qadr AGM.

Another live test for iranian PGM called Sattar-2 (laser guided missile)

Azarkash as of today's modern times remains no more than a bomber, It's very cheap and can be mass produced in large numbers so when there is an attack on iran alot of these planes will be rolling in to take down troops/armoured vehicles/ destroy supply lines.

external image

Mod Edit: Image Size – Please Review This Link.

[edit on 27/11/2005 by Mirthful Me]

[edit on 27-11-2005 by NR]

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:51 AM
So does that mean the Azarkash is the Iranian name for the F-5?

Planeman, looking at the picture as evaluating it as you suggest I agree with everything you said about the design. I can see it as being quite agile but short legged. I also wonder about the wisdon of putting the intakes on top, though from the look of it there is nowhere else to put them. Top mounted intakes were all very de rigeur in the early days of stealth concepts from the masking effect they are given, however they are also masked very effectively from the airflow too and can cause the engine to choke at high AoA, therefore this fighter would suffer a limited flight envelope. The design looks to be optimised for aerodynamics rather than stealth though.

The cutaway drawing seems to show a re-engined 'mark 2' version when compared with the phot which appears to use the same J-85 type engine as the F-5. In fact the entire fuselage side profile from nose to tail looks identical to the F-5's despite being very fifferent elsewhere, thats what led me to think it might be a model built up from an F-5 kit. There are some excellent faked model photo's and a half retracted undercarriage for realism's sake is really very easily done.

However I do remain open minded about this, the model is just a possibility, not my final explanation.

[edit on 28-11-2005 by waynos]

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 09:14 AM
Something should be explained before I believe the photos planeman posted to show Azarakhsh is existent.
1th. still is where you got the photos?

the photo showed is much closer to be PSed.
the position I circled originally is somewhere F-5's airintake. But now, where showed more bright, which doesn't tally with principle of optics.
Other is the pelvic fin showed so complex that actually much far away the cutaway showed.
3nd airintake on the dorsal is really not a good design according to aerodynamics. The engine will be shielded while the aeroframe being higher angle of attack then hard to work well with no enough air flow.
4nd The wing shape was a trapeziform not a delta so I suspect that could has enough lift force lead fighter to do high maneuver without horizontal tail.

posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 10:34 AM
I appreciate your desire to scrutinize, but I feel you have too readily drawn a conclusion which is, in this case, off the mark.

In Intelligence matters we must take heed of history, too many blunders have resulting from wrongly dismissing or misjudging evidence. All too often it is tempting to discard that which does not make sense through our own eyes, but we must remember that the enemy may do things for different reasons, favor different solutions and poses different science. When it comes time to call judgment, it can only be a subjective opinion. Not objective. But we must try our utmost as professionals to be objective in reviewing the evidence. Too often people draw conclusions which match preconceived notions, bias and agendas. This happens at all levels.

Your analysis of the photo, concluding that it’s photoshopped, may be backed up by rationale but it is not proven.

1. The lighter area is suggestive of an extensively blended surface consistent with the drawing (bottom). Similar light effects can be seen on aircraft with similarly blended surfaces, such as the Mig 29 and Mirage 2000.
2. The tail end is indeed different from the drawing, but this proves nothing, except that the artist is not 100% accurate. Drawings are useful, but photos better, get it the right way around.

The provenance of this photo has been discussed and I’ve said all I will. I came to this site to get stuff like this to a wider audience; it is frankly being under reported in the aviation press and in my opinion in the military also.

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