Iranian systematization generations of fighters from different world that it is a determining factor not only and not so much certain features and abilities, and the time of creation, and as a result, more than just the highest property. So Makar, fighter IAMI Azarakhsh, made in the 90s, belongs to the first generation, Saeqeh — to the second, and just announced the project will eventually lead to the creation of third-generation fighter. With all of this is the deepest fighter Saeqeh upgrade prior Azarakhsh, a new plane, the title of which is not yet announced, perhaps, will be the development of the upcoming "Sakiha." Here systematization own Iranian fighter recalls generation Kalashnikov assault rifles, which, having the same base, separated in time by some of creation and design features. Because of such an unusual division by generation rather difficult read about some of the parallels with the adopted ordering of the world. But if you do not go into the details, we can make the assumption of approximate equality of Iran's second-generation and third "world", but such a comparison is not clear enough.
Development of the first Iranian fighter to its construction began during the second half of the '80s. Plane, received the title of Azarakhsh («Azarahsh" — "Lightning") was developed by IAMI (Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial, aka HESA) in collaboration with the Institute of them. Shahid Sattar and spices Iranian Air Force. A prerequisite for the start of development of its own fighter in the termination of cooperation with most countries zabugornyh, first with the United States. Having lost the opportunity to take the latest modern technology abroad, Tehran launched its program from the development of the fighter, who had to change the troops aging imported from other countries in the car. In Iranian aircraft designers in the late 80's there was no tribute to the experience for the creation of modern fighter aircraft, because the development of "Lightning" is very long. The first model of the aircraft was completed only in 1997.
More fascinating feature of the "Azarahsha" is the fact that it is to a large extent resembles the South American lightweight fighter Northrop F-5E Tiger, which in the 70's to Iran. With all of this new aircraft Iranian little development has huge dimensions — its dimensions are larger by 10-12%. So Makar, Azarakhsh has a length of 17.7 meters and a wingspan of 9.2 m Wing area Iranian fighter just under 22 square meters. The dry weight of "Lightning" is 8 tons, and with full fuel and harness the greatest number of weapons fighter becomes harder to 18. According to sources, the aircraft used two Russian turbojet engine RD-33 with the highest thrust of 8300 kgf. With such power plant Azarakhsh can accelerate to a speed of 1650-1700 km per hour and cover distances of up to 1,200 km. The crew consists of a fighter 2 persons whose jobs posted procession. The aircraft has a built-in automatic cannon 20 mm and seven knots outer suspension. Apparently, the "Lightning" can carry and use a range of available weapons from Iran "air-air" as missiles and bombs to attack ground targets. Various sources indicate different payload fighter. This parameter varies in the range from 3500 to 4400 kg. First fighter combat abilities are provided on-board radar Russian production N019ME "Topaz".
In 1997 he completed the assembly of the first prototype reference fighter Azarakhsh, in June of the same year he first took to the air. Tests aircraft took a couple of years, until the beginning of two-thousand years in the factory office IAMI was collected pre-production batch of several machines. It is interesting that the first application of the "Lightning" arms held just a few months after the first flight. Already in September 1997, during the great teachings of the Iranian Armed Forces, the crew made a prototype airplane bombing with 2 incendiary tanks. It was reported that 250 pounds (about 113 kg) of ammunition went right on target. The next months were to refine and verify the design and electronics. Around 2000, the year of an experimental batch was ready aircraft. Not later unfolded batch creation "Lightning", but the clear terms of read is not necessary. Given the pace of testing and assembly of an experimental batch of the start of series production can be attributed to the years 2002-04, but serial Azarakhsh have been demonstrated only in 2007. Prerequisites such delays were not announced.
Over half the 10-ka years since the first flight of the "Azarahsha", according to reports, made only a dozen aircraft. Noteworthy that in the course of such "large-scale" production design and avionics aircraft were finished a couple of times. So makarom available 12 aircraft belong to three different modifications. A clear correlation of their number is not clear. Fighter "Lightning" often appear in the media materials Iranian press, but their total number does not allow them to build a harsh military force. According to the portal Flightglobal.com, in the Iranian Air Force until now serves about 120 American F-5 fighters, which is much larger than their own "Azarahshey."
All there is reason to believe that a small amount without the help of others built fighters justified the change of values. At about the same time as the "Lightning" came to the tests, the staff IAMI and related organizations have begun work on its profound modernization. The new aircraft, immediately Referred to the second generation of Iranian fighters, was a symbolic title Saeqeh («Sakih" — "Thunderbolt"). From the ordinary "Lightning" "Blow" differs in a number of constructive solutions. First noticeable reduction in the crew up to 1 person. In addition, the revision has undergone severe tail section, with new contours and two collapsed outside of the keel instead of 1st. Perhaps the changed structure of the onboard equipment. The clear structure of the avionics is unknown, but there is reason to believe the introduction of the same radar N019ME "Topaz", as well as Russian-made engines. According to reports, alteration of the design did not change the size of the aircraft. Yet, due to the reduction of the crew managed to save some weight. Empty Saeqeh weighs 7800 pounds, and at full load and refueling — 16800. Due to the small relief rose slightly flight data. The highest rate increased to 2050-2080 km / h and a range of up to 1,400 km. The integrated gun and seven hardpoints for weapons does not stick out configurations, but the Ministry of Defense of Iran said that "Thunderbolt" can use all the new and promising missiles and bombs made in Iran.
About the beginning of the construction of the layout fighter Saeqeh became clear in 2001,
but the first flight took him only in May 2004. In 2005, only available at that time experimental aircraft took part in the exercises, which stormed the ground targets using unguided rockets. Apparently, the program tests new fighter was a little better than in the previous case, and already in 2007 the Iranian pilots showed on parade new "Thunderbolts." In September of the same year, the second-generation fighter was officially put into service. In the past since 5 years with excessive Air Force received only eight new aircraft. In total, according to Iranian media, ordered 24 fighter jet, which will go to the troops about to 2014-16 years. In light of the rate of production of the first eight boards such plans look versatile. Maybe the factories office IAMI already taken measures necessary to speed up the production of aircraft.
About brand-new third-generation Iranian fighter now there is no disk imaging, except for information on its development. It is not even taken his title. At the same time, there are grounds for speculation regarding the next upgrade "Azarahsha", during which virtually no exchange their weight and size, but noticeable increase tactical ability. But the criteria of today's lack of information, you can do both assumption. A couple of years in the media circulated information on the development of new aircraft in Iran, which is equivalent to their abilities zabugornom swatches of the 4 +. Yet, this possible fighter the third generation of Iranian entitled Shafaq («Shafak" — "Twilight") is positioned as a training-fighting machine. There is hardly a chance to make a plane with a good training potential and properties of modern combat. This discrepancy can be solved by a single exciting. Some media claimed that in the course of the project "Shafak" will be made at once two aircraft, a double training and combat fighter and single-seat fighter-bomber.
According to reports, the promising aircraft with a wingspan and a length of 10.5-11 meters will have the greatest weight in less than 7 tons. Being kitted out with one engine RD-33 Russian production, Shafaq will be able to accelerate to near-sonic speeds. In the light weight characteristics of the aircraft — a dry weight of 4,300 kg and a maximum take-off of 7,000 kg — there is a reason for hesitation about its combat effectiveness. It turns out that the desired load, "Shafak" will weigh less than a half to two tons, which is obviously not enough for a modern fighter or attack aircraft.
At the same time, while there is no real evidence that the Iranian promising third-generation aircraft will be specifically Shafaq. Representatives of the Iranian Ministry of Defense and the company IAMI yet remain silent. Similarly, while not clear deadlines for project work, the approximate time of the first flight, etc. Based on previous experience of Iranian aircraft manufacturers, third-generation aircraft will fly no earlier than the 2014-15 year, and the present series creation will begin towards the end of the decade. In light of the devilish obsolescence bulk of Iran Air Force aircraft such terms and possible rates of production of the new fighter look very unusual, if not unsafe. Naturally, the Iranian pilots will not go without technology, but the combat potential of the country's air force could seriously fall. And no pride in the presence of a descent of 3 types of fighters of their development and production are no longer posodeystvuyut.
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