Battleland

Does an Alleged Stealth Aircraft….

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YOUNES KHANI / AFP / Getty Images

The Iranian F-313.

…see its shadow if it’s introduced to the world for the first time on Groundhog Day?

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi unveiled the Qaher F-313 fighter February 2 in Tehran. The debut came as Iran marked the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution, which replaced the U.S.-backed shah with an Islamic regime that has held power ever since.

“This advanced fighter jet with unique physical characteristics has a very low radar cross section and therefore is capable of operating at low altitudes,” Vahidi said, according to Mehr news agency.

“Very low radar cross-section” is how you say “stealth” in Farsi. (“Qaher” is Farsi for “Conqueror”.)

Western experts have quickly begun picking the plane apart, based on the photographs broadcast on Iranian television. It’s too small overall, its cockpit is too cramped, and it lacks an afterburner nozzle.

Nonetheless, the Iranians are proud of their homegrown aerial hotrod. “All its parts, from A to Z, have been manufactured domestically,” Hassan Parvaneh, Qaher project manager, told state TV.

Speaking of domestic production: funny how the West so quickly dismisses Iran’s fighter program, but so profoundly fears its nuclear program.

Wonder what would happen if Tehran put more of that on state-run TV?

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