Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s air force said that his troops have succeeded in increasing the traveling distance of the US F14 fighter jets to 14,000 miles. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony to celebrate the successful flight of its domestically-built fighter jets in Mehrabad airport on Thursday, General Ahmad Mighani also underlined, “Iran is capable of crushing enemy attacks at any time. And this is no complement.”
Meantime, he viewed West’s threats against his country as a part of psychological warfare, and said, “Westerners’ threats are nothing beyond psychological warfare as they are well informed of Iran’s high potentials and power.”
Iran on Thursday successfully tested two more domestically-built fighter jets from its Azarakhsh (Lightning) generation and the new planes, named Saeqeh (Thunderbolt), will be displayed to the public during a military parade on National Army Day on Saturday.
The Islamic Republic celebrated the start of official flights by its home-made fighter jets during a ceremony attended by a number of officials and commanders, including the defense minister, at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport.
Saeqeh, a joint product of the Iranian air force and defense ministry, has been described as similar to the American F-18 fighter jet.
Last month, Iran showed off for the first time a new fighter jet said to be modeled on the American F-5 but built using domestic technology.
The Azarakhsh jet – one of the first home-produced military planes by Iran – made a successful flight in the central city of Isfahan in a ceremony attended by Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and other officials last month.
The development of the plane was first announced in September last year, when military officials said that it was “comparable” to the US F-5 fighter jet.
Following the successful flight of Azarakhsh fighter jet, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said that Saeqeh which is the second generation of the same fighter jet would also launch official flights in the Iranian sky in the near future.
The fly-past in Isfahan appears to have been the first time the Azarakhsh jet has been shown in public.
The current US embargo means that Iran must work hard to find spare parts to keep its fleet in the air and officials have repeatedly emphasized the importance of moving towards self-sufficiency in defense.
Iran’s deputy air force commander Mohammad Alavi said on Wednesday that Iran has already prepared plans to retaliate against any possible Israeli air attacks by bombing the Jewish state with “our warplanes,” apparently referring to the new jet fighters.