Iranian Indigenous Fighter projects (Saeqeh, etc)


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17 August 2006
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I do remember there are some version showed two tail Tiger2.One is VG-10, other is private vertion modified by famaly, all showed in JAWA before. Now the Iran Saeghe fighter remids me of those, who has more informations about that?


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Saeqeh, an upgraded twin tail F-5, is allegedly in production now.


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What engines are in the Saeqeh? The tail pipes look identical to the F-5, some kind of reverse-engineered copy?

This is much different to the humped-back version with high lateral intakes I saw in Janes 2004-05 powered by the RD-33. Are these new-build or conversions, it looks little different or improved to the standard F-5 to me.
I agree with Hood, there is no way that airframe can carry twin RD-33's which are way bigger and heavier than J85. The aircraft shown looks to me a converted F-5E rather than a fresh produced prototype.

By the way, I remember something of an abandoned Canadian project which was in fact a twin tail F-5, am I correct? Can anybody help this desperate mortal soul?
Some really beautiful shots here.

I'll try and find some comparable F-5E shots to see how "modified" it is.


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Here's a photo match to an early Saudi RF-5E with short nose- its the best match for angle I could find. Clearly the nose is slightly longer, but not much - it looks pretty much like a standard F-5E nose minus the gun.

This seems to show that the only external differences are the twin tails and modified intakes. "Enlarged nose", "15% bigger" etc do not seem to fit the photographic evidence.


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The Shafaq, not the Saeqah, is the fighter that is/was to use the RD-33. You can see pics of the model and the mock-up at the following link.

Iranian Shafaq Fighter

I had read somewhere that the Saeqeh is based on the F-5, but overall is a larger aircraft. The forward fuselage does seem to be deeper to me. It also seems to use the wing of the T-38 with the Lerx from the F-5E. Also notice the new shape of the inlets, they have more of a rectangular shape to them, like a fixed oblique shock type of inlet.

Overall it's a nice looking plane. Of course, being based on the F-5, that was a given. ;)
Now, this fighter looks to no show in this exercises up to now.
Also this helicopter which I don't know whether only is a mockup has not been unveiled.


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Ok, lets go step by step.

1. Shaequeh was newer powered by RD-33. It is very big engine for F-5, so they must redesign all tail part first. That never happened - its just rumour.

2. Longer front part seems to be from Azarakhsh. It had it 17 cm longer compared to standard F-5E to house iranian version of russian radar Kopjo.

3. We must recognize Azarakhsh (redesigned F-5) and Shaequeh (ehm.. a bit more redesigned F-5 :D )

4. Shaequeh was originally called Azarakhsh 2 or Shaequeh-80. Number 80 correspond to iranian year 1380 (2001) that was planned date of the first flight. However after delays in development, the number 80 was abadoned.

To rousseau 1: This first picture is a light trainer called Tazarve (eagle). Try google to find more info.

To rousseau 2: Unidentified helicopter is Zafar 300. It was designed to replace US AH-1 Cobra. For me its the worst looking attack helicopter ever proposed.


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.... any idea what's that ??? Maybe I missed the conclusion that it was once again a PS ... but if I remember correct, this picture was posted only one time and then forgotten !

the last drawing I found somewhere in the www ....

cheers, Deino ???


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Yes, but maybe it's something completely different as there have been several reports rumours about at least three different Iranian projects .... and as this looks truely not like a fighter = Shaequeh-80 as we know .... I just ask if it could be a F-5-based light fighter-bomber !??!

Well, I dont have any information about fighter/bomber iranian project that is actually under development. There are (or were):

1. project Offogh - modernisation of F-5E
2. project Simorgh - modification of single seat machines to improvised two seat F-5F
3. F/B-22 - project of industrial company HESA to rebuild older F-5F to fighter/bomber - it was never realised
4. Azarakhsh - modified F-5E, some 30 were ordered, but only 6 to 9 were really built and its not clear, if they are in service or not
5. Azarakhsh-2, Saeqeh-80 or simply Saeqeh - recognizable thanks to its double vertical tail
6. Tazarve - light jet trainer
7. Shafagh/Shafaq - project based on russian Mukhamedov project Integral (sometimes refered as M-ATF, but this designation was used at leat two times for two different configurations) - now exist only mockup

There are RUMOURS that Iran is working on project F/B-44 that is replacement for F-4 and F-14, but till now there is not any sufficient evidence (official or not) to prove it. If its real, then it is based on.... and now comes the surprise.... on YF-17. Because short after loose with YF-16 and just before islamic revolution, Northrop sold complete YF-17 documentation to Iran. This is proven fact, but I personally dont think, that the project F/B-44 really exist.

Its the same type of situation as now with chinese J-XX. We have dozens of artists impressions how can it look, but after the real J-XX will be revealed, we will be able to conclude, that 99 % of them are simply wrong.
YF-17? That's interesting. Wasn't Iran supposed to be an F-16 buyer at one point?
According to the August issue of Air International, the Azarakhsh is a reverse engineered
F-5E Tiger II (that's what said in wikipedia, too), four prototypes were flown between 1997
and 1999. It is believed, that until today nine production aircraft were manufactured, although
there's no hard evidence. The other indigenous iranian fighter, the Saeghe is based on the F-5,
too but twin canted fins and squared-off inlets.
AFAIK still yet no authentic photos were published .

The Iranian fighter from flightglobal in 2004.


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Same paintjob but Tiger-style low-mounted wings...
I used to think tit was a real photo, but I now think it's definitely photo-shopped for one simple reason; Look at where the tail planes are positioned. They are moved up from where they normally are on an F-5 and
1) There is absolutely no reason to do that on that design and
2) If you've seen a cutaway of the F-5 you know there is no room for an actuator where the horizontal stabilators are located in that image.
Iran "unveiled" today two models of stealthy types ... one UAV and one combat type !

How realistic they are is open to anyones own gues ... drawings made by "planeman" (via ACIG)



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"Sofreh Mahi" , which means "Manta Ray" of "Flatfish".
Both stealth designs look pretty cool to me. Interestingly, even though the overhead jet intake seems only too logical when you want to reduce the inlets' RS, so far this arrangement has only been adopted in metal, off the top of my head, in the SE Grognard and YF-107-and they were by no means stealthy.
Are you sure it's the picture of the so-called Sofreh Mahi? To my knowledge, Sofreh Mahi is a uav. Concerning the CGI poster with the great "leader" behind, with the engine intakes on top, it's probably not a fighter, then.
more like a bomber configuration tbh.

top mounted intakes don't have a good performance at alpha 30. it's more of a compromise solution to increase payload. OR perhaps they just plan it to be a pure interceptor?
donnage99 said:
Are you sure it's the picture of the so-called Sofreh Mahi? To my knowledge, Sofreh Mahi is a uav. Concerning the CGI poster with the great "leader" behind, with the engine intakes on top, it's probably not a fighter, then.

Sofreh Mahi is an unmanned scaled prototype of 'stealth fighter'
Quite interesting .. even in baaaad quality are these pictures of both showing the planform much better.



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What is the source for the pictures? Looks a bit like screen shots from a news cast ???

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen

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