So, Iranâ€™s second locally-grown fighter jet, the Saeqeh has officially become operational with the Iranian air force at the squadron level.
This may be a big deal for Iran but not so much for us. As you can see in the grainy photo above, the Saeqeh is in many ways a reverse-engineered F-5 Freedom Fighter. You know, Northropâ€™s 50-year old design for a cheap and easy to fly light-fighter that the U.S. could sell to its Third World allies during the height of the Cold War. One of those (then) allies was pre-revolutionary Iran, which bought about 125 of them in the 1960s and 1970s. The Saeqeh is based on the F-5 body with Russian weapons and canted tails, among other “upgrades.” Tehran insists that the Saeqeh is on par with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 Â Hornet. One thingâ€™s for sure, Russia and China probably donâ€™t need to worry about the Saeqeh competing with their latest fighter designs.
Hereâ€™s Iranâ€™s semiofficial FARS news agencyâ€™s announcement of the planeâ€™s entry into operational service.