The only problem? It's totally, completely, fake. And now it comes with a fake photoshopped background, too.
Shots of the jet midair are easy to pick apart as fake, as described by The Atlantic Wire, who spotted the original background photo on PickyWallpapers.com and an Iranian blogger who spotted the image of the replica jet.
Here's the official image from Iran:
Of course, even if the images weren't so easily disassembled, the plane itself didn't pass muster with aviation experts, who said the Qaher-313 almost certainly can't fly.
Foreign Policy points out that the jet "looks like the Iranians dumped some rudimentary flight controls and an ejection seat into a shell molded in what they thought were stealthy angles."
Then there's the photo of the back of the plane showing a non-existent engine nozzle. Things get even better when you see a photo of a pilot sitting inside the cockpit. The jet is so small it looks like the man is sitting in a clown car, er, clown fighter. It's seriously unlikely that such an aircraft has room to carry the avionics, radars, electronic countermeasures, heat masking gear, and, most importantly for a fighter, the weapons that make modern stealth jets effective.
The Aviationist writes that the jet looks like it's made of plastic, and a pilot wouldn't be able to see through the cockpit glass:
Overall, the plane seems to lack the characteristic rivets, bolts all aircraft, including stealthy ones, feature. Images released so far show it as a plastic-made aircraft... The canopy lacks transparency and looks like it is made of plexiglass
But in case you're not convinced, here's how Iran's defense minister described the Qaher-313 in its own press release.
Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says Iran’s new domestically-designed and developed fighter jet, Qaher-313 (Conqueror-313), is ‘super advanced’ and capable of ‘evading radars.’
Speaking on the sidelines of its unveiling ceremony on Saturday, Vahidi said the aircraft had a “very low radar cross section” and was capable of conducting operations at low altitudes.
The Iranian defense minister noted that highly-advanced materials and electro-ionic systems had been used in the structure of Qaher-313, adding that the aircraft was capable of carrying advanced armaments.
Qaher-313 can take off and land on short runways and it has easy maintenance, Vahidi said.
The newly-unveiled Iranian military aircraft is said to be similar to the US-built F/A-18, although its appearance is like F-5E/F Tiger II.
The new single-seat bomber has been manufactured based on state-of-the-art technologies and modern defense achievements.
In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and gained self-sufficiency in essential military hardware and defense systems.
Azarakhsh (Lightning) is Iran’s first domestically-manufactured combat jet.
Saeqeh (Thunderbolt) fighter jet is a follow-up aircraft, derived from Azarakhsh. Iran unveiled its first squadron of Saeqeh fighter bombers in an air show in September 2010.
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