Iran: Home-made fighter jets and helicopters fly over Army Day Parades Zone

Iran's home-made Kowsar 'Kosar' and Saeqeh fighter jets and other warplanes as well as different types of helicopters participated in the Army Day parades on April 18, for the 40th anniversary of the formation of the Islamic Republic's Armed Forces in 1979 following the Iranian Revolution.

Iran Home made fighter jets and helicopters fly over Army Day Parades Zone HESA Kowsar (Picture source: Iranian Defence Ministry)

In Tehran, the ceremony took place at the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, the Late Imam Khomeini, South of the capital with participation of President Hassan Rouhani, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri and other high-ranking military and government officials as well as foreign diplomats.

Home-made Kosar fighter jet as well as Tomcat F14, F4, Tiger F5 and Mig 29 warplanes marched before the participants today.

Meantime, tens of helicopters belonging to the Army's Airborne Unit, including Bell-205, Bell-206, Bell-214, Chinook and Cobra, flew over and marched in the parades zone.

Commander of the Iranian Air Force Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh boasted the capabilities of both Kosar fighter jet and the pilot in staging a sophisticated airshow during the Thursday parades.

"The airshow by Kosar both manifested our high power in training skilled pilots with high maneuvering power and the unique power of our industrial engineers in manufacturing fighter jets," he told reporters on the sidelines of the parades. He expressed the hope that more Kosar fighter jets will be flown in the future parades.

The HESA Kowsar is an Iranian fighter jet based on the American Northrop F-5. The aircraft is equipped with new fourth generation avionics, an advanced fire control system, smart mobile mapping systems, a glass cockpit, and heads-up display, along with the ability to carry modern munitions, including domestically produced missiles and bombs.

The Iranian press acknowledged that the design for the Kowsar is based on the Northrop F-5, but also lauded it for being the first fighter jet manufactured from the ground up by a Muslim nation and referred to it as a Fourth generation fighter.

According to Douglas Barrie, military aerospace senior fellow at the IISS, he mentioned that the Iranians have possibly made the upgrades and changes to the Kowsar while keeping the basic F-5 jet frame. He also mentions that while Iran can reverse engineer the jet frame, the problem lies in sourcing engines and avionics.
As such, the Kowsar also makes unapproved use of intellectual property from the US, which maintains a military embargo on Iran.