Iran unveils Karrar armed unmanned bomber (UAV)

blackstar

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http://www.rferl.org/content/Iran_Unveils_First_Unmanned_Bomber/2134343.html

Iran Unveils First Unmanned Bomber
President Mahmud Ahmadinejad introduced the Karrar aircraft on national television.

August 22, 2010
Iran has unveiled its first domestically built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft.

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad unveiled the bomber in a televised ceremony marking National Defense Industry Day. He said that the 4-meter-long unmanned plane, named Karrar or striker in Persian, is intended for deterrence and defensive purposes.

No details were provided on the craft's capabilities. Iran has been producing its own light, unmanned surveillance aircraft since the late 1980s.

Earlier this week, Iran test-fired the new generation of its Qiam-1 surface-to-surface missile, which the Defense Ministry described as a huge step in missile development.
 

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blackstar

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/22/AR2010082200459.html?hpid=topnews

Iran inaugurates nation's first unmanned bomber

By NASSER KARIMI
The Associated Press
Sunday, August 22, 2010; 7:48 AM

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday inaugurated the country's first domestically built unmanned bomber aircraft, calling it an "ambassador of death" to Iran's enemies.

The 4-meter-long drone aircraft can carry up to four cruise missiles and will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 kilometers), according to a state TV report - not far enough to reach archenemy Israel.

"The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship," said Ahmadinejad at the inauguration ceremony, which fell on the country's national day for its defense industries.

The goal of the aircraft, named Karrar or striker, is to "keep the enemy paralyzed in its bases," he said, adding that the aircraft is for deterrence and defensive purposes.

The president championed the country's military self-sufficiency program, and said it will continue "until the enemies of humanity lose hope of ever attacking the Iranian nation."

Iran launched an arms development program during its 1980-88 war with Iraq to compensate for a U.S. weapons embargo and now produces its own tanks, armored personnel carries, missiles and even a fighter plane.

Iran frequently makes announcements about new advances in military technology that cannot be independently verified.

State TV later showed video footage of the plane taking off from a launching pad and reported that the craft traveled at speeds of 560 miles per hour (900 kilometers) and could alternatively be armed with two 250-pound bombs or a 450-pound guided bomb.

Iran has been producing its own light, unmanned surveillance aircraft since the late 1980s.

The ceremony came a day after Iran began to fuel its first nuclear power reactor, with the help of Russia, amid international concerns over the possibility of a military dimension to its nuclear program.

Iran insists it is only interested in generating electricity.

Referring to Israel's occasional threats against Iran's nuclear facilities, Ahmadinejad called any attack unlikely, but he said if Israel did, the reaction would be overwhelming.

"The scope of Iran's reaction will include the entire the earth," said Ahmadinejad. "We also tell you - the West - that all options are on the table."

Ahmadinejad appeared to be consciously echoing the terminology used by the U.S. and Israel in their statements not ruling out a military option against Iran's nuclear facilities.

On Friday, Iran also test-fired a new liquid fuel surface-to-surface missile, the Qiam-1, with advanced guidance systems.
 

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fightingirish

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No, I doubt that this UAV would be launched from Iran mainland direct against Israel or US facilities in the Arabian Gulf.

Iran will launch it from its coast and border bases, so no damage on their own soil.
I also presume, it could be packed into a container and transported by ship or over land via Damascus to Lebanon, where the Hisbollah will hide in a cave. They might think, that launching it from Lebanon would give Israel less reaction time.
But Israel will have the mobile air defense systems like "Rafael Iron Dome" or " Rafael SPYDER" in the meantime to engage this threat.
IMHO, if this UAV was supersonic or more stealthy, it would be a larger treat to US and Israeli forces.
 

AeroFranz

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It does seem to be competently designed (at least from what can be seen on the outside). They probably had access to or closely copied some features of the earlier target drones like a Firebee or Chukar. I think it's pretty smart to keep the KISS rule in mind, especially if your country's ruler may not find the humor in it if you fail.
 

Nico

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This Karrar, in my opinion, bears a close resemblance with the Northrop Ventura NV-144, an unlucky contestant for the YBQM-126A requirement of US Navy (won by a Beech design), during mid-eighties. More generally speaking, it's also close the other drones of the same era and class, like Northrop Chuckar family, some Beech ones and the Meteor (now Selex Galileo) Mirach 100.
Moreover, we can remember that during Desert Storm were used some Chuckar and perhaps a specimen strayed in Iranian territory.
The Mirach 100 was, for sure, bought by Lybia but I don't remember if was already available before the Khomeinist revolution for sale to Iran, at that time one of best customer of Italian industry...

Nico
 

sferrin

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"The 4-meter-long drone aircraft can carry up to four cruise missiles and will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 kilometers), "

::)
 

Triton

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Sounds like Karrar is a remotely piloted vehicle (RPV) since "drone" is mentioned in the news report. Is the use of the word UAV in the subject of this thread a bit of a stretch? Isn't the distinction between an RPV and UAV automation and this vehicle isn't sophisticated enough to be called a UAV? Isn't this more of an RPV or "radioplane"?
 

Michel Van

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The 4-meter-long drone aircraft can carry up to four cruise missiles and will have a range of 620 miles
US journalism: FAIL
Iran Propaganda: WIN !

i see only ONE Bomb under that Karrar
but wat sense has this as UVA ?
to be cheaper as a Cruise missiles true reuse ?
once a Karrar is discoverd by US or Israel Radar system
it will get a Centurion C-RAM ammo for its last meal

so wat real intended purpose ?
V-1.jpg

bring on the Propaganda Terror...
 

blackstar

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sferrin said:
"The 4-meter-long drone aircraft can carry up to four cruise missiles and will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 kilometers), "

Translation problem. My guess is that the original said "guided bombs" or something like that and it got translated to "cruise missiles."

Many years ago I remember some Argentinian writer who sent a letter to a magazine about the Falklands war and referring to "Royal Navy battleships." It prompted some responses from people claiming that the writer was exaggerating or ridiculous because the Royal Navy had no "battleships." But it always struck me as simply a garbled translation for "warships."
 

Sundog

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How many satellites does Iran have to operate it remotely? Yeah, I'm not seeing this as a threat, except to maybe targets around the Persian Gulf, and then, I still can't see it as a threat. Woohoo, Iran built a remote controlled plane that can drop a bomb! Color me unimpressed.

BTW, shouldn't this be under the Aerospace header or are we questioning whether or not this actually exists? Just saying.
 

iverson

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Remember that aircraft are almost always designed with yesterday's threat in mind. No doubt this is doubly so with a weak economy and an aviation industry that is trying to do first-world work on a third-world budget and time-scale. So I'm guessing that the Karrar was designed with the lessons of the Iran/Iraq War in mind. It would be ideal for use in the long-range attacks on static targets that characterized that conflict: shuttling bombs to the target on a daily basis without exposing scarce Phantoms, F-5s, and pilots to SAMS and without demanding F-14 escorts.

Is this relevant now? No. But the money has been spent and the thing works more or less as planned, so it has to be put to use. If anything, I take the regime's big buildup of the weapon as a sign of two things, neither of which is its inherent military value:

* First, Karrar development cost a lot in time, talent, and money that could have been used elsewhere.

* Second, the regime realizes that Karrar is, at least potentially, a white elephant, with little relevance to the threats that Iran actually faces.

By building up Karrar as a more formidable weapon than it now is, the regime justifies the decision to develop it and protects its advocates from whatever internal critics they may face. If the claims also deter unprovoked attacks on Iran and thus provide some real defense value, so much the better.

In short, to this American, the Iranian defense mentality looks remarkably like that in my own country: the claimed awesomeness of the weapon is in direct proportion to its cost (financial and political) and its profitability rather than to the likeliness of the threat.
 

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The shape is not stealthy I think it would light up radar and infrared. Looks like a setting duck at subsonic speeds. Could be turned against Irans own internal homeland threats. Throw a rock and the regime fires back with this out of the clear blue. We should be smuggling high tech shoulder fire arms into Iran to support the foes that oppose Ahmadinejad. All arms should include a stealth tracking homing device for recall from duty. Stage an event to distract Iran military giving the protesters some opportunity to strike. Disrupt, engage from within, and threaten every border with decoy build ups and deployments. Keep them freaked out and guessing. Fly jets right up to the Iran air space to freak them out meanwhile observe from orbit what reacts so we will know where to strike if needed.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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*yawn*

That little P.O.S. dollar store cruise missile would get sliced up by a carrier's CAP before it even gets to CIWS range. And even if it could get through, it would still give my boys and girls out there some target practice.
 

Orionblamblam

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airrocket said:
The shape is not stealthy I think it would light up radar and infrared. Looks like a setting duck at subsonic speeds.

Built in sufficient numbers, it's RCS could be a boon. If, say, 5,000 of these started heading towards Tel Aviv, it'd be hard to tell where the manned fighter-bombers with the nuclear warheads were in the mix.

However, I doubt that's the intent.
 

Eagle2009

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Actually I have studied the images of this drone all day and here are a few observations:

1. Contrary to what that media report stated, the drone is over 5 meters long. Its been measured by others using AUTOCAD to be 5.39 meters and when you compare the model to the people on stage next to it you can clearly see that.
2. There is an image out of there of it carrying 2 Kosar missiles (C-701) which can be used against naval or ground targets (depending on seeker).
3. The UAV is largely similar to the MQM-107 in dimensions and claimed performance.
4. the Bomb its seen carrying is believed to be the Mark 82 500lb bomb. This is largely confirmed by the same measurement mentioned above which measured the bomb as being 2.22 meters in length, the exact length of a Mark 82.
5. Likely uses the Iranian-build Tolue-5 which is a small turbojet engine very similar to the TRI-60 in appearance and performance.
 

turboshaft

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Eagle2009 -

I'd say it's closer to 4.6m, and that those slicks under the wing are Mk81s. I'm sure Iran wouldn't have missed an opportunity to hype up the length of its wunderwaffen if applicable. ;D

Definitely a strong Mirach influence there.
 

TomS

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Steve Trimble has a pretty good guess over on DEW Line. This vehicle does look strikingly like a Denel Skua with the fuselage rolled over and a straight wing in place of the swept one.
 

Eagle2009

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Actually they havent said officially what its length is. Iranian media has stated in 4 meters which is impossible when you compare the drone to the people next to it. Using that same measure, and the fact that a member of the ACIG forum used AutoCAD to measure it to be 5.39 meters. More importantly that matches up very well to the MQM-107 which Iran operates. Iran has never operated the Mirach drones and it only superficially looks similar and hardly even that. This drone is clearly longer and slimmer and has a totally different tail design.

The similarity to the Skua is pretty striking but this drone does have swept wings not straight wings.

Here is the real proof in my mind, this image shows the drone carrying a Kosar Missile under each wing (C-701). If this drone is only 4+ meters long, the 2.5 meter long Kosar would be more than half its length which as we can see in the image is isnt.
 

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Eagle2009

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Here are various images of the new drone..
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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For what its worth, Iran has other UAVs with South African origins.

Denel Skua specs for comparison.

PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed:
Mach 0,86 at 10 000 m
Controllable range:
200 km (line of sight)
Altitude:
10 m to 10 700 m
Endurance:
85 minutes at 10 000 m and
Mach 0,75
The system consists of the following:
• Four to eight target drones
• Launcher
• Mobile ground control station
• Ground support equipment
THE SYSTEM
Drone
The Skua has an all-composite, lowdrag
airframe with a wingspan of
3,57 m and length of 6,00 m. Wing
hard-points are provided to carry
tow-targets and signature
augmentation equipment weighing
up to 160 kg.
An internal bay can
house a payload of up to 70 kg.
 

blackstar

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There's a slightly amusing clip about this missile on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart joked that Iran was doing a bad job at diplomacy by calling something "the ambassador of death."

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/rocket-man
 

kaiserbill

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overscan said:
For what its worth, Iran has other UAVs with South African origins.

Denel Skua specs for comparison......snip.....

I must admit I think it also probably has its origins in the Skua. Iran also uses the Lark UAV that is South African in design, as well as another thats name escapes me at present.

The performance specs between the two are pretty close, aren't they? I've seen it mentioned that the Skua probably started out as a cruise missile that morphed into a drone.
 

kaiserbill

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Eagle2009 said:
The similarity to the Skua is pretty striking but this drone does have swept wings not straight wings.

The Skua also has swept wings.

An interesting report I've just found at Flight Daily News:


Denel may be in some trouble


DATE:24/08/10
SOURCE:Flight Daily News
Iran bomber drone reveals new sophistication
By Stephen Trimble


Iran has publicly revealed a new level of sophistication with aerial drone technology, displaying a new vehicle that, government officials say, can deliver a 500lb bomb to a target 1,000km away.
The revelation on Sunday by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was closely scrutinized in Israel, which lies just within the combat radius of the new drone.
Israeli analysts have classified the so-called Karrar, a Farsi word meaning "strike," as a heavily modified version of the Skua target drone manufactured by Denel in South Africa.
In 2006, Denel officials revealed that three export customers of the Skua had transferred the technology to unidentified third parties as part of a growing training services business.
It was not clear if Iran or any of its defense suppliers were among the countries that had received the technology.
Images of the Karrar released by the Iran-based Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reveal an aircraft featuring scaled-up versions of the Skua's fuselage body and distinctive horizontal tail surfaces.
The engines, however, have been moved to the top of the fuselage in the Karrar design. The Skua's swept-back wings have also been straightened and enlarged for the Iranian drone.

According to Israeli analysts, the Karrar was shown in two configurations carrying either a 500lb bomb or four copies of a Chinese anti-ship missile called the Kosar. Tal Inbar, a senior research for the Fisher Brothers Institute for Aviation and Space in Israel, speculated the engine comes from a copy of the French TRI-60 jet.
Iran's previous standard for an internally developed unmanned aerial vehicle was the Ababil family, which has been projected with offering roughly 250km endurance.
Iranian officials said the drone is able to provide both attack and surveillance capabilities.
"They can not only record and transmit images, but possess operational capabilities as well," says Iranian Defense Minister Brig Gen Ahmad Vahidi. "The Karrar bomber drone has numerous capabilities, mostly having a long operational radius."
In the Defence Industry Day event, Ahmadinejad said, "This jet is a messenger of honour and human generosity and a saviour of mankind, before being a messenger of death for enemies of mankind.
"The key message is friendship," he adds. "We must make efforts to render all the enemy's weapons useless with our defense potential."

http://www.avcom.co.za/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66991
 

Stargazer2006

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So is that the so-called UAV everyone seems to be talking about? What I can see here is a 35-year old design configuration reminiscent of Beech's and Northrop's efforts. Nothing less but certainly nothing more.

As to whether the term "UAV" is or isn't appropriate, let's put it this way: UAV was the new term coined to replace "RPV" in the 1990s as a new generation of very different vehicles (including the Global Hawk) was emerging. So, yes, from a semantic point of view "UAV" is correct because "RPV" is too restricted and is not really used anymore. Yet I can understand the temptation to use it since it is exactly was the Jayhawks, Streakers, Firebees, Fireflies, Chukars and families of vehicles were called, and they are of the same nature.
 

AeroFranz

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I am wondering how the Iranians are planning to conduct actual operations, considering that the datalink must be a weak point, unless they are flying it completely autonomous. Both US and Israel can probably cutoff operators from the birds using some flavor of an EC-130.
Other question: I see no obvious means of operating BLOS, unless once again it flies a pre-programmed route.
 

blackstar

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Stargazer2006 said:
What I can see here is a 35-year old design configuration reminiscent of Beech's and Northrop's efforts. Nothing less but certainly nothing more.

Iran has turned out to be a lot less impressive than one would expect when it comes to aeronautics. After years of working on what was originally billed as an indigenous fighter jet, they unveiled a modified F-5 which had already been in their inventory. And now this.

They really don't seem to be capable of producing their own designs, simply modifying stuff that they buy from others. The country used to be filled with highly educated people, but I suspect that 30 years after their revolution they've wiped a lot of that out and created a system that does not support internal innovation.
 

Eagle2009

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Actually, a drone can go quite far even without SATCOM, just look at China's ASN-207 which has a range of 600km without SATCOM (though it does have a large datalink). Now, clearly this drone doesnt seem to have something similar so its 'controlable' range is likely less than 300km. However, for recon missions the drone could simply be pre-programmed and use an autopilot system to fly to the intended target, take images, and return. This is hardly advanced technology and easily achievable.

The bomb is more than likely just for show since clearly it isnt a practical payload but there is an image of this drone carrying 2 Kosar missiles (Iranian versions of C-701). Weight-wise the drone could easily carry these small missiles but guiding them to their intended target is the trick. The drone could fitted with an Electro-Opitc seeker and a fairly simple datalink (similar the ones fitted on combat aircraft) that would allow the drone to engage targets with these missiles but would be fairly short ranged without a SATCOM.

The Use of the term of "UCAV" isnt something Iran started but the media who have little idea of the difference between an armed drone and a UCAV.

Also, there is an image of several drones being assembled and one appears to have a much sharper nose-cone than the drones we have images of in flight. This could indicate that Iran has already built some drones as crude cruise missiles. Its not definitive but its very interesting.


The rest of your "point" isnt exactly accurate either.

I read the original reports of Iran supposedly claiming the Saeghe was similar to the F/A-18 (they never specified which model as you assume), and they said just that, the Saeghe is generally similar the F/A-18, in appearance, which is an observation many all over the net made. It was the media sources who made the jump to stating the Saeghe was in the same class as the Hornet, not Iranian officials.

And while a bit off-topic, I have studied many many images of the Jamaran Corvette and to claim it is less capable than the original Vosper Mark 5 is pretty clear evidence of your ignorance. The Jamaran has arguabled a superior gun (better firing speed and more compact and modern), much more advanced AshMs (C-802 versus the ancient Sea Killer missiles), can carry a Helicopter for re-supply, maintains the same Torpedo armament (two sets of triple 426mm torpedo tubes), and has much better SAMs (SM-1 compared to ancient SeaCat missiles).

You should try actually looking into what you're talking about before you make ignorance assumptions.
 

Jemiba

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Thanks Eagle for pointing out several things with the regards to this UAV, especially
to the point, that claims aren't always made by the owner of a weapon, but often just
by media, who may be of limited competence.
Nevertheless I would ask to try to avoid words like "ignorance", if they are adressed to other
forum members. There always is a way, to say it more neutral, even if someone feels bothered
by the post of another. But starting a debate in a way, that quite surely will offend someone,
is the best way to kill the thread. To my opinion, tone has deteriorated during the last time here.
Although sometimes funny, if watched from the outside, to my opinion it actually worsens the
credibilty of this forum.
On the other side, verbal bashing of a design should be avoided, too. I don't think, that
any of us would like to read comments like ".. the designers were just too stupid.." in JAWA, or other
publications. There certainly always is a reason, it's just unknown to us. We should leave this jargon
to the gutter press, or sooner or later we ourselves will end there !

So, please let's return to at least fairly reasonable manners ! ;)
 

vulture

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Just and add-on to the subject
 

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RanulfC

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Eagle2009 said:
"4. the Bomb its seen carrying is believed to be the Mark 82 500lb bomb. This is largely confirmed by the same measurement mentioned above which measured the bomb as being 2.22 meters in length, the exact length of a Mark 82.

I'd missed this before, but just and FYI: The Mk-82 is a 1,000lb bomb, not a 500lb-er. ;)

Randy
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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blackstar said:
There's a slightly amusing clip about this missile on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart joked that Iran was doing a bad job at diplomacy by calling something "the ambassador of death."

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/rocket-man

:D
 

TomS

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RanulfC said:
I'd missed this before, but just and FYI: The Mk-82 is a 1,000lb bomb, not a 500lb-er. ;)

Sorry, but you're mistaken. Here's the Aero 1A lineup with weights.

Mk 81: 250-lb
Mk 82: 500-lb
Mk 83: 1000-lb
Mk 84: 2000-lb
 

JFC Fuller

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Eagle2009 said:
Actually, a drone can go quite far even without SATCOM, just look at China's ASN-207 which has a range of 600km without SATCOM (though it does have a large datalink). Now, clearly this drone doesnt seem to have something similar so its 'controlable' range is likely less than 300km. However, for recon missions the drone could simply be pre-programmed and use an autopilot system to fly to the intended target, take images, and return. This is hardly advanced technology and easily achievable.

The bomb is more than likely just for show since clearly it isnt a practical payload but there is an image of this drone carrying 2 Kosar missiles (Iranian versions of C-701). Weight-wise the drone could easily carry these small missiles but guiding them to their intended target is the trick. The drone could fitted with an Electro-Opitc seeker and a fairly simple datalink (similar the ones fitted on combat aircraft) that would allow the drone to engage targets with these missiles but would be fairly short ranged without a SATCOM.

Yeah you could fit it with a whole bunch of stuff that it already does not have, ie make a new design, great argument there. They could also make it invisible and then it would be even more awesome. ::)

The Use of the term of "UCAV" isnt something Iran started but the media who have little idea of the difference between an armed drone and a UCAV

Wrong: UCAV means simply, Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, this is unmanned, is an air vehicle and is intended for combat, therefore it is a UCAV

The rest of your "point" isnt exactly accurate either

Yes it is.

I read the original reports of Iran supposedly claiming the Saeghe was similar to the F/A-18 (they never specified which model as you assume), and they said just that, the Saeghe is generally similar the F/A-18, in appearance, which is an observation many all over the net made. It was the media sources who made the jump to stating the Saeghe was in the same class as the Hornet, not Iranian officials.

Wrong: General Attollah Salehi stated that it was more capable than an F-18

And while a bit off-topic, I have studied many many images of the Jamaran Corvette and to claim it is less capable than the original Vosper Mark 5 is pretty clear evidence of your ignorance. The Jamaran has arguabled a superior gun (better firing speed and more compact and modern), much more advanced AshMs (C-802 versus the ancient Sea Killer missiles), can carry a Helicopter for re-supply, maintains the same Torpedo armament (two sets of triple 426mm torpedo tubes), and has much better SAMs (SM-1 compared to ancient SeaCat missiles).

Wrong on multiple points:

1) The Jamaran does not have SM-1
2) Unlike the Alvand class it only has diesel engines and not gas turbines resulting in a reduced speed compared to the Alvand class
3) It can not "carry" a helicopter as it has not got a hangar
4) The Alvand class have themselves been upgraded with C-802.

You should try actually looking into what you're talking about before you make ignorance assumptions

LOL, you should actually have some idea of what it is that you are talking about before you make statements like that. ;D
 

Eagle2009

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I apologize for being overall abrasive in my post.

But I believe you are wrong sir. This is off-topic but if you study images of the Jamaran closely, the "boxes" in between the engine funnel and the manned 40mm cannon look identical to images of SM-1 launchers on Iran's older Sumner class Destroyers. But if you are so convinced they are not SM-1 Launchers, then what are they?

I have photographic evidence supporting those "boxes" are SM-1 launchers but I will try and find the appropriate thread elsewhere to post them.
 

Eagle2009

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Back to Topic,

I dont believe the term UCAV should be so broadly defined. I believe the term UCAV should only be used for UAVs designed from the start for arme combat. I personally use the term "Armed Drone" for armed UAVs that were designed for something else and were armed as an after thought. The Predator, Armed Firebees would qualify as Armed Drones in my opinion not UCAVs. Since the Karrar looks to be designed for target drone duty (no matter what their officials say), calling it a UCAV I believe is not accurate. However this is just my opinion on the topic, I dont know what so-called experts would say but consider this, should the term UCAV be used so broadly when many argue that some drones should be called RPVs instead of UAVs?
 

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