Iran unveils ‘first domestically manufactured’ fighter jet

Iran unveiled what it described as the country’s “first domestically manufactured” fighter jet.

Test flights of the jet, dubbed the Kowsar, took place on the eve of the National Day of the Defense Industry, according to semi-official Mehr News Agency. It was unclear whether the jet’s first public display flight has yet taken place.

The Kowsar can be used for “short aerial support missions” and is equipped with systems that “promote precision targeting,” according to state media.

Iran is currently under economic and diplomatic pressure from a raft of sanctions reimposed by the United States earlier this month, and the unveiling could be seen as a bid to show self-sufficiency and military might in the face of that pressure.

Iran has unveiled several new fighter jets in the last few years. In 2013, the country unveiled the Qahar-313, a new fighter jet that Iran compared to the US F-22 and F-35. But many aviation experts voiced skepticism regarding the design and quality of the build of that plane.

Iran has sent weapons and soldiers to Syria during the country’s seven-year civil war in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But the country’s air force comprises roughly a few dozen strike aircraft, largely Russian or American planes acquired before the 1979 revolution, according to Reuters.

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