By Sara Rajabova
Iran is working on new home-made fighter jets, said Brigadier General Abdolkarim Banitarafi, Deputy of Iran's Aviation Industries Organization.
He noted that the organization is building new fighters based on the operational needs of the army, IRNA news agency reported on February 18.
Iran recently unveiled a new homemade fighter jet dubbed Saeqeh 2 which is a developed version of the previous Saeqeh fighter and is produced by the country’s Defense Ministry.
The two-seat jet fighter can be used for close support in tactical missions and training pilots at an advanced stage.
Banitarafi further said the new Iranian-made fighters will be unveiled in the new future without disclosing exact timeframe.
He said they have signed some agreements for building more new fighter models, adding that building of new training aircrafts is also on the IAIO’ agenda.
Iran unveiled its first domestically manufactured fighter jet, called the Azarakhsh (Lightning), in 2007. Saeqeh (Thunderbolt), which is a single-seat jet fighter was derived from the American Northrop F-5 and is the second generation of the Iranian Azarakhsh fighter. Iran unveiled its first squadron of Saeqeh fighter jets in an air show in September 2010.
Over the past years, Iran has gained important achievements in its defense sector, attained self-sufficiency in producing important military equipment and systems and enhanced the preparedness of its forces by holding various drills.
Iran, however, has repeatedly stated that its military might poses no threat to other countries, insisting that its defense doctrine is merely based on deterrence.
Iran has recently taken great strides in defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems. Iran has so far unveiled various domestically produced drones, including Ababil, Fotros, Hazem, Karrar (long range attack drone), Mohajer, Sarir, Shahed 129, Yasir and Zohal.
Since 1992, Iran has manufactured its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles, radars, boats, submarines and fighter planes.