The Complex

This is not real: Iran’s stealth fighter

Happy Monday! In case you missed this over the weekend, these pictures show Iran’s incredibly fake Quaher 313 “stealth fighter.” When I first looked at the plane Saturday morning, I could tell it was bogus. Look at the photos of the cockpit: there’s barely any wiring. In fact, it looks like the Iranians dumped some ...

Fars News Agency
Fars News Agency

Happy Monday! In case you missed this over the weekend, these pictures show Iran’s incredibly fake Quaher 313 “stealth fighter.”

When I first looked at the plane Saturday morning, I could tell it was bogus. Look at the photos of the cockpit: there’s barely any wiring. In fact, it looks like the Iranians dumped some rudimentary flight controls and an ejection seat into a shell molded in what they thought were stealthy angles. (As Killer Apps’ friend David Cenciotti points out, there are no rivets or seams on the outside of the jet where its different fuselage sections would normally be joined together.) You can actually see the white-painted inside of the shell in the cockpit photos. Check out how awful the visibility through the canopy is, it’s downright terrible. 

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.

(Heck, it’s all but proven that video Tehran claims shows the jet in flight is actually just showing a radio controlled model.)

At best, these photos show a small mock-up, or maybe, just maybe the radio controlled plane used in the video. Still, this is not a modern stealth fighter. If you want a laugh, read Iran’s press release saying the “super advanced” jet can “evade radars.” Enjoy!

John Reed is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He comes to FP after editing Military.com’s publication Defense Tech and working as the associate editor of DoDBuzz. Between 2007 and 2010, he covered major trends in military aviation and the defense industry around the world for Defense News and Inside the Air Force. Before moving to Washington in August 2007, Reed worked in corporate sales and business development for a Swedish IT firm, The Meltwater Group in Mountain View CA, and Philadelphia, PA. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter at the Tracy Press and the Scotts Valley Press-Banner newspapers in California. His first story as a professional reporter involved chasing escaped emus around California’s central valley with Mexican cowboys armed with lassos and local police armed with shotguns. Luckily for the giant birds, the cowboys caught them first and the emus were ok. A New England native, Reed graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a dual degree in international affairs and history.

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