Iran tests new homemade fighter jets

Sept. 20, 2007 at 7:15 AM
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TEHRAN, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Iran publicly tested two of its domestically manufactured new fighter jets Thursday at a Tehran airport with a political and military ceremony.

Iranian Defense Minister Gen. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar and other officials watched the aircraft perform maneuvers at the Mehrabad Airport, Alalam Satellite TV reported.

The jets are called Saegheh, part of Iran's generation of Azarakhsh fighters, the report said.

Both words mean lightning in Farsi.

Iranian defense officials said the new aircraft are similar to the U.S. F-18 fighter plane but more powerful, although technical comparisons weren't given.

The Saegheh was first test-flown last year and are scheduled to go into full production and service Saturday to mark the anniversary of the beginning of Iran's eight-year war with Iraq, the report said.

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