In the continue effort to show its muscles to the West, Iran recently present the Qaher-313, no less than a stealth fighter. What happens next is a bright demonstration of the differences between a modern propaganda campaign and Iran’s efforts.
A number of photo has been released by the Iranian government, images like this:
It is clear that the Qaher-313 is nothing but a model, not even in the 1:1 scale. If you look at the pilot, it’s quite evident that he’s too big for the cockpit. You don’t have to be an aeronautical engineer to understand that.
A front view of this aircraft shows the promises of an interisting machine. But even in full scale, it will be a small fighter, useful at best for defensive purposes. An airplane like this one should be highly manouvrable, with a small payload given size and structure. As a single engine aircraft will not reach high speed or top level flight ceiling.
So, what could be the purpose of such a public stunt? Two-bit propaganda? An attempt to gain any quota in the aircraft markets? In terms of internal political issues it’s a strong move from the conventional armed forces in the face of Guardians of Revolution, a show of knowledge useful to undermine their opponents in the internal power struggles. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will step down from his position soon and the Qaher-313 could be a point for some group.
Even if Iran can develop the Qaher-313 in the next few years this plane is not enough to boost the air defense capacity of the country. A little fighter, no matter how stealth can it be or how good could be its VTOL characteristics, is not able to face a massive attack from air superiority aircrafts. The Qaher-313 could be useful for small time attacks in a conventional war but it will pose a great danger if it could be used against civilian ships in the Persian Gulf.