The Islamic Republic of Iran will celebrate the start of official flights by its home-made fighter jet ‘Saeqeh’ on Thursday. During the celebration ceremony to be held in Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport, two Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) jets will fly in the presence of a number of officials and commanders, including the defense minister.
Saeqeh, a joint product of the Iranian air force and defense ministry, has been described as similar to the American F-18 fighter jet.
The fly show in Mehrabad will be the first time the Saeqeh jet is shown in public.
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 (Lightening) 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.