Iran will soon have a stealth fighter

B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber of the US. Northrop Grumman photo

TEHERAN (BNS): Iran claims it has designed a stealth fighter giving fresh headache to the western powers.

Iranian air force chief commander brigadier general Hassan Shah-Safi was quoted as saying by the state media agencies that the aircraft to dodge enemy radars and attack high value assets of the adversaries was being built.

Iranian scientists have developed a prototype of the aircraft. The design is ready and the aircraft would have a reduced visibility in visual, audio, infrared and radio frequency spectra.

State radio claimed that the fighter is designed to be carefully coated with a secret, radar-absorbent material, and a typical stealth feature. Brig. General Shah-Safi claimed that the project would be finished by the end of the year (March, according to the Iranian calendar).

“The design of the aircraft has been completed and the preliminary models of these aircrafts are being constructed," the commander said.

It is part of Iran's attempt to strengthen its defences in wake of threats from the US-led western powers. The US and Israel have threatened Iran with military consequences over its ambitious nuclear programme.

Stealth capabilities in fighter jets are a fifth generation feature. Well known examples include the US' F-117 Nighthawk (1980s-2008), the B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bomber," and the F-22 Raptor. India and Russia have also launched the stealth fighter aircraft project. The Russians have already developed a prototype which will be ready for flight trials early next year.

India and Russia will work on a two-seater stealth fighter. Military analysts feel that the future of air combat would be stealth fighters. The US military planners are worried with Iran's announcement about producing such fighter. It would make its defences formidable and difficult to penetrate.

The aircraft is painted in such a way it hides surfaces from where signals could be detected by radars. Even an exposed bolt in the airframe could lead to detection by radars, said experts. The weapon systems on such planes are carried in the under carriage and not in the wings as in fourth generation fighters. Iran can use the aircraft for destroying targets in Israel pre-empting any air raids.

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