Iran shows off newest fighter jet, which came out 50 years ago
Amidst policy woes with the United States, Iran showcased its new fighter during the Thursday National Army Day Parade in Tehran, hoping to strike fear into the West with the country’s first indigenous fighter aircraft.
There’s just one problem- not only is it not particularly terrifying, the United States built the original plane it is based on.
Looking like an ancient F-5 variant that famously played the bad guys in Top Gun, the Kowsar (meaning “river in paradise”) fighter is essentially just that- an aircraft the US gave to South Vietnam during the Vietnam war, albeit with a few design tweaks.
In some photos of the aircraft, the Iranians took their love for US Navy Aviation even further, painting the aircraft in a livery akin to that of the Blue Angels.
While any foreign air threat is a threat, the U.S. has somewhat of an edge when it comes to taking on the new aircraft. In addition to having built the aircraft it was based on, American aggressor training squadrons flew the F-5 as the main “bad guy” plane for many years, tweaking their flying styles to match that of Soviet pilots and their allies.
That said, Iran does have a bit of an edge when it comes to going into the “Danger Zone”- as the world’s last active user of the F-14 Tomcat, they are the sole country capable of reenacting scenes from Top Gun without CGI.
According to the Navy Times, the Iranians also showed off other hardware during the parade, including new small arms, tanks, and Russian-made S-300 missile systems.
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