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News number: 8901231544

17:40 | 2010-04-12

Defence

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Iranian Fighter-Bombers to Stage Air Show in Days

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Army Air Force is due to display different types of its fighter-bombers in an air show to be staged during military parades on Army Day on April 18, an Iranian commander announced on Monday.



Commander of the Iranian Army Ground Force Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan made the remarks in a press conference held on the occasion of 'the Army Week' in Iran.

Pointing to the Iranian Army's latest achievements to be displayed in the parades in Tehran and other Iranian cities, Pourdastan reiterated, "The new radar equipment of the airplanes' defense system as well as (home-made) unmanned choppers are some of the Army's new achievements to go on stage at the parades."

He continued saying that the Iranian Ground Force also plans to display its newly designed weapons and military tools and equipment in the parades, including ultra-light personnel carriers, composite weapons and a new machinegun.

The Iranian top commander also referred to the country's progress in producing home-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and said Iran has mass-produced such aircrafts.

Reports said that the Army plans to also display a number of the UAVs designed and produced by the Iranian Defense Industries during the parades on April 18.

Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.

Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.

Iran has recently made good progress in the air industry and has succeeded in gaining the technical know-how for producing stealth aircraft and drones.

Iran successfully tested a home-made radar-evading UAV with bombing capabilities in June. Also in 2008, the country's Defense Industries launched production lines of two well-known home-made fighter jets, namely Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) and Azarakhsh (Lightening).

Last March, Iran started construction of a plant in the northern province of Mazandaran to mass produce Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

Hamed Saeedi, Managing Director of Farnas Aerospace Company in charge of the project, said that his company has been dealing with designing and manufacturing UAVs and reconnaissance and pilot training drones for the last 9 years.

"We plan to manufacture UAVs, including unmanned choppers and drones, at this site," he said, referring to the plant in Mazandaran province.

Regarding specifications of the UAVs to be produced by the plant, Saeedi noted, "Drones will be of the tactical type, with a short range of 400 to 500 meters flying altitude which cannot be detected by radio waves as they will be stealth aircraft."

He singled out detection and control of contraband trafficking on land and in the sea and assistance in firefighting operations, specially in the woods as among other advantages of the UAVs to be manufactured in the plant.

Also, Iranian army officials had announced in June that they have successfully tested a home-made radar-evading UAV with bombing capabilities.

"This airplane is a model drone built on a one-seventh scale for the defense ministry," Commander of the Iranian Army Air Force General Hassan Shah Safi announced in June, adding that the UAV bomber would be produced in actual size and would join the Iranian Air Force fleet in the near future.

He explained that the UAV has been designed and manufactured for reconnaissance and bombing missions, specially considering its radar-evading advantage.