Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It looks like a toy cockpit! Western critics take aim at Iran’s homemade stealth fighter that 'can't be detected by radar'

  1. The Qaher-313 or Dominant-313 will 'conquer scientific peaks' President says
  2. But aviation experts have expressed doubts about the aircraft
  3. Analysis of photos throws up questions, including if it can actually fly 
Iran is hailing it as one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world, capable of evading radar, landing on short airstrips and controlling the skies with its deadly arsenal.The jet, known as the 'Qaher 313', was unveiled on Saturday at a ceremony involving Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other high-ranking officials.
  • But aviation experts have expressed doubts about the aircraft based on an analysis of photos released by the Iranian government - not least of which is can it actually fly?

  •  Can it actually fly? Experts say the cockpit of Iran's Qaher 313 'stealth fighter' seems too small for a pilot to fit inside and that it appears to be no more than a large mock up model
    David Cenciotti of the blog The Aviationist, pointed out what appear to be some serious design flaws.
    He wrote that the wiring of the cockpit's front panel appears too simple and it seems too small for a pilot to fit inside.

    'It looks like this pilot is in a miniature plane.
    'The shape is interesting with some innovative features but the Q-313 displayed on February 1, 2013, seems to be nothing more than a large mock up model (not properly sized to accommodate a real pilot…. ),' he wrote.

    The cockpit seems to be basic (a bit too much for a modern plane – note the lack of wirings behind the front panel). And, above all, the aircraft is way too small.'
    Mr Cenciott's comments are backed up by the pictures at the unveiling ceremony where the plane appears to be made in miniature.
    He also notes the plane's air intakes are also quite small and the back engine contains no nozzle for afterburners, which would probably cause the minor setback of melting the entire jet.

    Iran released images of the plane in flight, but both Mr Cenciotti and experts on Flight International believe that the film was actually of a remote-controlled aircraft modelled to resemble the Qaher 313.
    The extremely poor quality of the video and the fact it did not include footage of the Qaher 313 taking off or landing were behind their scepticism.
    Meanwhile, national security reporter John Reed of Foreign Policy said the cockpit seems to be lacking legitimate wiring or instrumentation.
    He added: '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.'
    The Qaher is one of several aircraft designs rolled out by the Iranian military since 2007.

    Tehran has repeatedly claimed to have developed advanced military technologies in recent years but its claims cannot be independently verified because the country does not release technical details of its arsenals.

    The Islamic republic launched a self-sufficiency military program in the 1980s to compensate for a Western weapons embargo that banned export of military technology and equipment to Iran.
    Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armoured personnel carriers, missiles, torpedoes, drones and fighter planes.

    The nation has been accused of faking its achievements in the past.
    In late January, Iranian officials claimed to have launched a monkey into space and back, but images of the monkey that went up and the one that returned appeared to be very different.
    Iran also appeared to doctor an image of an experimental Japanese drone aircraft in Photoshop and then pass it off as their own technological innovation.

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