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Iran's Military Tests Domestically-Produced Fighter Jets


Iran's military has conducted test flights of two domestically-produced fighter jets that are set to join the nation's air force on Saturday.

Iranian state television showed footage Thursday of two "Saegheh" jets taking off and landing.

State media quote Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar as saying Iranian experts conducted the research, design and production of the warplane.

Iranian media say the fighter jets are a new generation of the Iranian-made Azarakhsh warplane. Many of Iran's fighter jets have been developed using re-engineered components of decades-old U.S. combat aircraft.

Iran's former ruler, the pro-American shah, bought 1960s-era U.S. warplanes such as the F-5 before he was ousted by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Iran says the Saegheh fighter jet is more powerful than the current American F-18 warplane.

Western experts say Iran rarely gives enough detail about its military advances to confirm its capabilities. Iran's air force also has had difficulty finding spare parts for its aircraft because of a U.S. trade embargo.

Iran's military also makes its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and torpedoes.