Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former president, released a mock-up of the Qaher-313 in February 2013.
Iran’s Qaher-313 Stealth Fighter: False News? The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Air Force uses 40-year-old F-14 Tomcats, F-5 Tigers, and F-4 Phantoms. Prior to the 1979 Iranian Revolution, when Iran was still an ally, the U.S. sold the Shah these elite fighters. The Iranian Air Force continues to use these jets despite the U.S. and other importers pulling them out.
Although Iran’s ability to maintain and improve these aging airframes is impressive, the lack of a stealth fighter concerns the leadership.
Several years ago, Iran unveiled its stealth aircraft to compensate for its aging fleet and appear more dangerous. The Qaher “Conquerer” 313’s two public appearances in the last decade proved the stealth fighter was propaganda.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former president, released a mock-up of the Qaher-313 in February 2013. The regime’s former Defense Minister said the stealth aircraft has a small radar cross-section, can fly low, and can use indigenous armaments.
Aviation experts worldwide rejected the prototype right away. Analysts in the U.S. emphasized Iran’s lack of analytical and sensor technologies as a reason it could not create the jet.
The prototype’s small structure could not fit weaponry or a pilot. It would be impossible to fit an engine small enough to fit inside the fighter and power the aircraft’s size.
David Cenciotti, the editor of the website The Aviationist, says that the engine exhaust duct on the Conqueror does not have a nozzle. Any use of an afterburner would quickly ignite the airframe. The fighter’s technical specifications revealed it could carry two 2,000-pound bombs and at least six air-to-air missiles. The Qaher-313 lacked an internal weapons bay, rendering this claim absurd.
A scale model of the Conqueror made soon after its unveiling revealed more about the jet’s design. Alfred Wong, who created the template for the model, found “that they (Iran) hacked apart an old MiG-17’s wings for it—the wings have a very characteristic plane shape.” Therefore, for the pattern, I bought a 1:72 MiG-17 and sliced apart the wings similarly—it was a great fit! A 1950s vintage wing would not work on the current design.
Even though the Qaher-313 has many problems, Iran’s government has insisted that it is a real “fifth-generation stealth fighter.”The regime claims the airframe is “superior” to the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The fighter never appeared.
A similar tale unfolded when Iran revealed its “indigenous” Kowsar fighter plane in 2018.
At first, U.S. aviation experts wrote off the Kowsar as a bad copy of an American jet from the 1970s. Iran’s bogus aircraft development shows aid for domestic propaganda.
The country’s third “stealth fighter” demonstration is anticipated to happen soon.