Iran says unveils new homemade fighter jet

DUBAI Sat Feb 2, 2013 2:34pm IST

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran unveiled what it said was a new, domestically built fighter jet on Saturday, local media reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony in Tehran that the Qaher 313 demonstrated Iran's growing self-reliance in the field of military technology.

Iran's functional air force has been limited to perhaps as few as a few dozen strike aircraft, either Russian or ageing U.S. models acquired before the 1979 Iranian revolution.

The Islamic Republic, under an international arms embargo, has long struggled to find spare parts and some military experts say the fleet is outdated.

"This advanced fighter jet with unique physical characteristics has a very low radar cross section and therefore is capable of operating at low altitudes," Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said of the Qaher 313, according to Mehr news agency.

Tensions in the region have simmered over Tehran's nuclear programme. Israel has threatened to bomb its nuclear sites if diplomacy and sanctions fail to stop Iranian nuclear activity the West suspects is aimed at developing a weapons capability.

Iran denies the weapons charge, saying it seeks only electricity and medical isotopes.

"Now the speed of Iran's development in science and technology does not depend on circumstances, it depends on our will," Ahmadinejad said on Saturday in remarks carried on state television. "We should set higher targets. We see that it is possible, we have the capabilities."

"This project carries the message of brotherhood, peace, and security and it doesn't pose any threat to anyone. There is no intention to interfere in any other country's affairs," he said.

Iran often holds military drills and announces weapons advances that it says are for purely deterrent purposes, though some analysts are sceptical of such reported advances because they cannot be independently verified.

Western sanctions levied on Iran's energy and banking sectors have damaged its economy and limited oil sales, a major source of revenue for the government. But Tehran has shown no sign of backing down from what it says is its right to enrich uranium for civilian uses.

Iran is commemorating the 34th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed Shah in 10 days of events that began on Thursday.

(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Pravin Char)

FILED UNDER:

Sony Cyber Attack

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ten Years On

Ten Years On

10 years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the "last mile".  Full Article 

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Hopeful Dhoni

Hopeful Dhoni

India's new vintage nearly ready, says Dhoni.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Ali Hospitalized

Ali Hospitalized

Boxing great Muhammad Ali hospitalized with pneumonia.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage