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    Iran Air Force (IRIAF) | News and Discussions

    Russian Patriot
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    Post  Russian Patriot on Tue Aug 21, 2018 6:04 pm

    Iran has revealed what it claims is a new domestically-produced fighter jet at a ceremony in Tehran.

    On Tuesday, Iranian state television screened images of President Hassan Rouhani sitting in the "Kowsar" fighter aircraft, according to Tasnim News Agency.

    Designed and manufactured solely by Iranian military experts, the Kowsar is described as a fourth-generation fighter jet, which classifies it among military fighters in service from approximately 1980 to the present day.

    By contrast, Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and China's Chengdu J-20 are considered fifth generation fighters because of their enhanced stealth abilities and computational power.

    Tasnim, citing the state television report, said Iran's new jet had already been through successful test flights and would soon be ready to carry out shorter distance aerial support missions.


    The aircraft was unveiled ahead of Iran's National Day of Defense Industry, which is to be held Wednesday. Iran's military had a 2017 budget of $14.1 billion, or 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), according to figures supplied by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

    The country has developed a domestic arms industry as international sanctions have prevented it from importing weapons.

    The jet's arrival had already been foreshadowed by comments from Defence Minister Amir Hatami on Saturday, who said Iran's military had mounted a locally-built defensive weapons system on one of its warships for the first time.

    "Our top priority has been development of our missile program. We are in a good position in this field, but we need to develop it," Fars News Agency quoted Hatami as saying.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/21/irans-new-kowsar-fighter-jet-unveiled-by-rouhani.html
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    Post  medo on Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:44 pm

    yavar wrote:

    I don't understand farsi language, but it seems this F-5F Kowsar is fully domestically new build plane. I don't know, why they rename it from Azaraksh to Kowsar. Iran already produced all parts of F-5 jets, when they rebuild old damaged F-5s into Saegeh fighters. Production of F-5 is logical choice for Iran. It is simple and reliable plane. Iran already produce whole J85 engine domestically. They also produce entire body and wings. They also produce all sub systems, because they have to produce them for spare parts. Now we could see, that Iran produce Russian K-36 ejection seats, most probably Russia give them lycence to produce them and this new F-5 is equipped with K-36 ejection seats. More interesting is new electrinics in the plane, which is also produced in Iran.

    Iran Air Force (IRIAF) | News and Discussions - Page 6 An_iri10

    Some of those new components like HUD, MFDs, RWRs, were tested in this Azaraksh prototype. Iranian electronic industry is capable to produce all those new digital electronic blocks as well as radar. They said, that Kowsar have miltirole radar with air to air, air to ground and air to sea modes. Did they developed it themselves or they got help from Russia. Small enough radar could be Kopyo radar used in Indian MiG-21BISON jets with 75 km range or even more modern PESA radar Osa, made for MiG-29UBT with range of 85 km. Kopyo radar is made for export from the beginning, so i don't see a problem for Russia to give Iran this radar to produce them domestically. They also talk about weapon control computers, ballistic computers for precission attacks, INS/GPS blocks and digital data link networking. Sounds like SVP-24 complex from Gefest. After all, Iran have Su-24M jets and they overhaul and upgrade them domestically to integrate iranian armament on them. Who knows, maybe Gefest work with Iranians to upgrade their Su-24M jets. Interesting is, that those capabilities in Iran come out now, after Russia start their intervention in Syria and SVP-24 become well battle proven complex. We could also see new iranian domesting targeting pods and weapons on their Su-22 jets.

    For Iran it is most important to get new build jets produced fully domestically, what mean they are immune on any sanctions. Although F-5 is old design, new radar, FCS complex similar to SVP-24 and new targeting pod could made it still very dangerous strike plane. With new air to air missiles like R-77, it could be still usefull fighter inside IADS.
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    Post  GarryB on Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:45 am

    The US upgrade of the F-5 was the F-20... a single RD-33 in the newest model would be an interesting option...

    Those pouring scorn on this aircraft... it was originally designed as a simple cheap fighter that could be exported safely without revealing any secrets to the Soviets... fit it with a decent radar and a decent engine and decent electronics and hang modern AAMs under its wings and you get what the F-16 was supposed to be... a cheap light fighter.

    Upgrading it with an RD-33... which could be licence produced in Iran... and you could look at MiG-29M2s for a medium fighter and an Su-30 as your big heavy long range fighter.

    All three could operate as strike aircraft with some sort of Gefest & T upgrade to allow cheap dumb bombs to be used against point targets.
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    Post  Hannibal Barca on Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:35 am

    It's not a competent airframe, nor engine and cannot have enough operational radius or payload.  Yet I agree with GarryB, this is not needed in recent wars. Airplanes become more and more mobile missile carriers than anything else.
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    Post  JohninMK on Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:48 pm

    Back at its home in the US the F-5E continues to be upgraded for aggressor squadron use so someone apart from Iran thinks this aircraft has potential. The timing of this article from a week ago is uncanny and this is its last sentence

    "But regardless of the business case surrounding commercial adversary support services, TacAir's F-5s are gorgeous and they will be truly impressive machines once their upgrades are complete."

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/22957/refurbished-tacair-aggressor-f-5-photographed-over-st-augustine-florida

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    Post  yavar on Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:01 am

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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:07 am

    A 2 seater version of it means it's multirole, like the Israeli F-16D/Is, Iraqi F-16IQs & UAE's F-16E/Fs:
    http://israeli-weapons.com/weapons/aircraft/f-16/F-16.html
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-16_Fighting_Falcon_variants#F-16I_Sufa
    https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/Iraq-Seeks-F-16-Fighters-05057/?date_sent=2012-03-16+14%3A16%3A34
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-16_Fighting_Falcon_variants#F-16E/F_Block_60

    I wonder how many will be procured. In the near future, China & Russia may disregard sanctions all together & sell them Su-30s, J-10s, &/ JF-17s: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-02/18/content_23529890.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAC/PAC_JF-17_Thunder#Potential_operators
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    Post  yavar on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:12 am

    https://imgur.com/e31fXBe
    https://imgur.com/TpEb4vl
    https://imgur.com/njcCISX
    https://imgur.com/pausyk0
    https://imgur.com/6xzbmlt
    https://imgur.com/qHnzqlk
    https://imgur.com/kfjzRZp
    https://imgur.com/yJN3C5t
    https://imgur.com/vrpMpL2
    https://imgur.com/qJLvKin
    https://imgur.com/RPPGMGw
    https://imgur.com/jWT46l1
    https://imgur.com/tZzpH9H


    Last edited by yavar on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:17 am; edited 4 times in total
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    Post  yavar on Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:14 am

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    Post  nomadski on Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:43 pm

    Production has started on time . As it was supposed to be . At a critical time . The manufacturing companies that produce parts , must move all their operations into secret underground bunkers . Safe from air attack . This plane can be used in the fighter role against latest  enemy fighter jets . Provided the body is converted and made from low RCS composites . Copying piece for piece . Every component . Keeping engines and avionics the same . Keeping external payload and hard points . But making all external stores from low RCS materials . This will mean keeping the old design in almost every way . But changing materials . External payload far more practical also . Keeps plane cross section and drag small .

    Use this plane with longer range air to air missiles . The new Fakoor . Do not engage enemy fighter in turning dog fight , using CIWS or cannon . Cost per plane is 15 million USD .  Use in two to one ratio against F35 . Or F22 . We may not be able to make thousands like the yanks . But the yanks can not loose thousands of pilots . A few hundred dead yank pilots . And we have won the air war .

    Death to America
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:08 pm

    With S-300/400, most of them will refuse to fly or be shot down from the ground. Fighter aces in the ME r a thing of the past.
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    Post  nomadski on Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:41 pm


    Well fighter aces in ME are rare . Air wars on large scale are a product of European conflics . All major air forces train for dog fights . Iranians should too . SAM have uses . They can also be jammed . So a pilot on a seat is still one of the best ways to cover the weak points of SAM defence .
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    Post  ATLASCUB on Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:30 pm

    yavar wrote:

    This puts a lot of speculation and doubt to bed about Iranian capabilities and intentions with this aircraft.

    Seems like it will be a slow process churning out numbers but good for them that they can get this started.

    Lol first "Death to America" that I see in this forum...
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:25 pm

    The Israelis, Arabs, Iranians & Pakistanis together had many aces: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_flying_aces_in_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_wars
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Iranian_flying_aces
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War_flying_aces   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Pakistani_flying_aces

    It's funny they r as a basing it on the US designed F-5 & call it their own, just like China with J-11/-15! At least India, Turkey, Korea & Japan develop their own fighters from a clean sheet!
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    Post  medo on Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:23 pm

    I don't think Iranians said that Kowsar is iranian design. They know, it is developed from US F-5E/F fighter jets. When they said their own and domestic jet it have a meaning, that it is completely produced in Iran and thatn they don't need to import any part for it. Kowsar is immune for sanctions as all part are produced in Iran from engines to electronics. Regarding electronics, I think Iran receive helping hand from Russia as caracteristics and radar antena well remind on Kopye radar for MiG-21 and have very similar caracteristics to EL/M-2032, which Israel install in upgraded F-5 jets. Maybe Russia also help with data link, RWR sensors, etc. Only thing I miss is fixed IFR probe like many other F-5E/F have. Good thing is, that this plane is simple design for cheap and mass production, so iran could produce them in big numbers quite quickly for IRIAF and Syrian AF. Kowsar could be a good option for future Novorussian air force as well, as they will not be able to buy any larger number of expensive MiG-35 or Su-30SM fighters. But they could buy a squadron of Su-30SM and few regiments of Kowsars.

    Anyway good move for Iran, they finally get new build planes. I hope they will install additional pylons under air intakes for targeting pod and ECM pod.
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    Post  Tsavo Lion on Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:01 am

    Local media also reported that the plane was a fourth-generation fighter jet that had been designed and manufactured solely by Iranian military experts.
    However, international aviation experts have been quick to cast doubt on the claim of pure Iranian technology and have suggested that the design is that of the U.S.-made F-5F jet, first built in the early 1970s. Tehran purchased F-5s from America in 1974, five years before the Iranian revolution.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/22/military-experts-say-irans-new-fighter-jet-is-actually-a-us-plane-from-the-1970s.html

    The Novorussians could get Yak-130 instead from Mother Russia, even though its performance is most probably below of this Iranian fighter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-130
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_F-5#Specifications_(F-5E_Tiger_II)
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/iran%E2%80%99s-new-fighter-jet-isn%E2%80%99t-new-all-there-more-story-29722

    But who will finance "the future Novorussian air force", if it appears? The impoverished region will rely on the RFAF.
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    Post  medo on Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:22 am

    F-14, F-15 and F-16 are also from seventies and are fourth gen jets. We all know, that Kowsar is made from F-5F jet. But it is fully domestically produced and have modern electronics inside. True, we do not know, how much improvements have domestic Owj engine comparing to original J85 engine, but with russian help they could increase trust, lower full consuption and maybe even install FADEC. Iran said years ago, that Saegheh radar is based on Phazotron radar and its capabilities are similar to Kopyo-M radar. This radar have similar capabilities to FIAR Grifo, EL/M-2032 and KLJ-7 radars. EL/M-2032 radar is installed in new Tejas and FA-50 combat jets and KLJ-7 is installed in new JF-17 combat jets. By capabilities, Kowsar is quite comparable with Tejas, JF-17 and FA-50 light combat jets.
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    Post  Isos on Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:21 pm

    medo wrote:F-14, F-15 and F-16 are also from seventies and are fourth gen jets. We all know, that Kowsar is made from F-5F jet. But it is fully domestically produced and have modern electronics inside. True, we do not know, how much improvements have domestic Owj engine comparing to original J85 engine, but with russian help they could increase trust, lower full consuption and maybe even install FADEC. Iran said years ago, that Saegheh radar is based on Phazotron radar and its capabilities are similar to Kopyo-M radar. This radar have similar capabilities to FIAR Grifo, EL/M-2032 and KLJ-7 radars. EL/M-2032 radar is installed in new Tejas and FA-50 combat jets and KLJ-7 is installed in new JF-17 combat jets. By capabilities, Kowsar is quite comparable with Tejas, JF-17 and FA-50 light combat jets.

    They have to fight f-?? Series from US and israel.

    I wouldn't say they have as modern tech as what you find in US or russia. Even chinese tech is not on pair with them, let alone iran that has access to nothing. Radar is not the only thing that matters. The plane is very small. It will be an easy target for israel and US. For domestical role, it's not bad unless if the engines are shit.

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    Post  nomadski on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:32 pm

    Thank you savo lion for update . I was speaking relative terms I don't know how much air time Iranian pilots get . Or if there is special dog fighting school . Like in America . But modern simulators they have . This is good start .

    Isos , I think even the metal version of this plane can be hard target for any enemy fighter to hit . Iran can fly radar / anti radar drone in formation . Guide missile fired by plane . So drone is sacrificial . Enemy radar will be spooked . Also Iran is making smart missiles that may use various sensors . Including IR sensors .

    So this plane can provide a good addition in air to air role . And supplements the SAM . With added advantage of a mobile platform with even bigger range .

    Joint project with Russia is good . Provided they have money to spare . And still can make domestic bigger engines .
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:41 am


    Lol first "Death to America" that I see in this forum...

    Yes, totally irrational of an Iranian to dislike the last super power that is using its military and economic and political might to overthrow Irans government (again) and steal their resources (again)... I mean being told what to think and who to elect is what everyone wants... you are from europe... you know what I mean... the EU is jumping to washingtons tune... they know the rules... don't think for yourself, you are not allowed your own interests... just do what America wants you to do... be a good little european poodle.
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    Post  nomadski on Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:15 pm


    Two points I want to make about new KOWSAR fighter . First point about modifications to existing plane for air to air combat . If deployed in numerical superiority , and with good training , then this plane has in my view a good chance of stopping enemy fighters . At the moment there are two nose mounted 20 mm cannon . If I am right . With unknown rate of fire . And ammo store . I think that this is probably not enough to secure a hit against enemy fighter . A higher rate of fire is needed . Something like 100 rounds per second , from a Gatling gun . Also calibre needs to be smaller . Say 0.303 or 0.5 inch . Against soft skinned plane . Second point is use of modern materials to armour fuel tank and engine , against similar rounds or shrapnel from missiles . Fuel tanks should not be fully loaded and plane used over friendly ground , with ground support and point defence . This arrangement should be kept , even for more advanced and longer range versions . Ammo stored should allow a sustained fire of several seconds . Allowing for multiple engagements .
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:50 am

    20mm would be the minimum calibre you would want in a modern aircraft for shooting at anything at all... even just aircraft made of unarmoured sheet metal can be bullet proof from rifle calibre machine gun rounds at distances of more than 800m from some angles.

    The even with a clean hit a rifle calibre machine gun would just punch a tiny hole through an aircraft structure, so you would need literally thousands of hits to reliably get a kill... just after WWII US aircraft were still fitted with 50 cal HMGs which relied on multiple hits to bring down light targets... when it got to Korea however at jet speeds they were poor choices for armament and the US actually decided to go for 20mm cannon.

    The Soviets had already realised, with rather more air combat experience, that cannon was the better solution and used 23mm cannon for use against enemy fighters and 37mm cannon for use against enemy bombers and other large aircraft.

    Not a strict rule of course they could use either or both against any target they chose in combat and often did.

    The point is that 20mm is probably the bare minimum calibre and a 23mm round would probably be rather better.

    Ironically I would say the Russian twin barrel 23mm guns are better than the US six barrel gatling guns.

    In combat long bursts of fire are not practical as it burns through ammo to quickly, and with short bursts the US gatlings are electrically powered and take half a second to wind up to full speed. With most bursts lasting less than half a second they don't really reach peak rate of fire.

    Twin barrel guns fire at cyclic rate from the first round and are smaller and lighter but fire a heavier projectile that would have rather more effect on target than the lighter faster moving US rounds.
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    Post  nomadski on Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:01 am

    Thanks for nice reply . During WW2 ,  the average fighter had six to eight guns . Each with about 300 rounds of say 0.303 . Engagement times  were longer , but distances were shorter . Generally I would say that aircraft themselves were roughly  made of the same stuff . And  suffered similar damage to rounds . Now eight guns put out about 100 rounds per second . And assuming a two second burst , then about two hundred rounds were discharged . At about 500 meters . Even with this rate , the aircraft was not hit , on many occassion .

    Now with two guns.  Firing bigger  round . You get twenty rounds per second .  Engagement time of half a second , for fast jet . You get ten rounds . At about 800 to 1000 meters . So even if  rounds do greater damage , they are less likely to hit the target .  I think this later quality is important .  If we could combine the high rate of fire , with penetrating quality of heavier round . This would be best . I think smaller round can be modified to be heavier , and  become armour  piercing .  The technical problem of slow start of Gatling , is easy to overcome . You simply  put it in revolve mode , without  actual firing . Or have pneumatic  assist .  Space consideration is in favour of one compact Gatling  , than eight single guns .  So make the rounds heavier , redesign an instant start , but keep the Gatling .

    On point defence , ground support can put out blinding flares , that work day and night . These can be timed to work with protective visors  for friendly pilots . Closing in time for pulses of light . While enemy pilot is blinded . Like deep sea fish  .


    Last edited by nomadski on Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:28 pm

    Tony Williams has a rather good book called Rapid Fire, in which he examines aircraft mounted automatic guns.

    Very simply most countries started WWII with rifle calibre machine guns but heavier aircraft construction and higher air speeds meant these weapons became ineffectual fairly quickly... a bit like the 37mm anti tank guns at the start of the war.

    20mm cannons were vastly superior to any rifle calibre machine gun weapon and were adopted widely... the Germans, the British, the Soviets... the main exception was the Americans and that was largely because their 20mm cannon were rubbish, so they kept putting 6-8 HMGs in their wings to the end of the war and beyond.

    You can read about Sabre pilots in the Korean war hitting MiG-15s with long bursts... actually getting long burst hits and the MiGs not going down, while a short burst and only a few hits from the 23mm cannons of the MiGs would bring down a Sabre or US bomber... often a single hit from the 37mm gun would destroy the american aircraft.

    Your numbers for guns are amusing... the Polikarpov I-16 at the start of the war armed with two Shkas 7.62mm MGs and two 20mm Shvak cannon was better armed than most US planes at the end of the war... Shkas fired at 1,800 rpm in the early model and about 2,700 rpm in the later M model.

    The problem was, as I said before, a hit from a 12.7mm calibre round resulted in a small hole punched through the aircraft... you needed to be very lucky to get a kill with a few hits.

    With a 20mm or larger calibre round hit the round explodes and spreads the damage and can ignite fuel etc.

    And the GSh-23 fires at 3,000 rpm and weighs 51kgs... and it fires at that rate from the first round unlike a gatling gun, and also does not need a separate electric motor to power it... it is vastly superior to US gatling guns for aircraft... and more accurate too because the barrels don't move.

    The muzzle velocity is low, but that is because it uses a very heavy projectile with a rather effective HE payload... if you swapped it for a light projectile like the US 20mm cannon shell its muzzle velocity would be even better... but shooting at small elusive targets is not made easier with high velocity shells that simply punch small holes in the target.

    The 30mm gun of the MiG-29 is probably the most effective aircraft mounted cannon for air to air combat.

    Using optics and radar and a laser range finder, the fire control system of the aircraft controls the gun... the pilot just selects the air target and pulls the trigger to fire the gun and then manouvers his aircraft to place the aim point on the enemy aircraft... when the computer calculates it will get a hit it fires the gun and based on the target type it selects the number of shells fired in real time. A short burst for an enemy fighter and a longer burst for a small target like a drone or cruise missile.

    It is famously known that during testing the computer was automatically only firing 4-7 rounds but the targets were still being destroyed... the project manager was reported to say if he had known the gun was going to be so accurate he would have halved the number of rounds carried... (originally something like 150 rounds and later 100 rounds).
    nomadski
    nomadski

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    Post  nomadski on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:30 pm

    Thanks for reply . I guess past experience is important and weapon designers and purchases must take into account past performance . In this respect , reliable data is needed from actual air combat kills using guns . By various modern jets . Problem is that apart from Korea and Vietnam , there is very little reliable data from jet on jet , dog fights and kills by guns . We should  therefore carry out tests , by using different guns by real pilots against target drones . This , short of actual combat , would give most reliable answers .

    On automated radar or IR guns , I must say that , this of course will improve performance . But in a hostile electronic environment , such as radar jamming or IR counter measures or EMP . Then pilot must be able to shoot in old fashion way . And must practice for it .  I think you would agree , that modern pilots need to be able to use guns in dog fights . And must train for them . In case of all else failing  . The modern materials for jet body must be known . And factored in  , when installing guns . I think we pay more attention to armour on a personnel carrier , in designing our guns . But do we really think about aircraft body , when we install guns ?  I heard that  the F22 body , in part was made of paper / resin mix . In places . Now paper , used to be used as  body armour  ,  in the days of old !

    The British have just announced that drone swarms will be used to suppress enemy air defences . They will most probably mimic bigger aircraft  in RCS and signals , and put out ECM  . So a pilot has to go up and shoot each one . Cheaply . So in this case small calibre high volume fire  is needed .  Saving SAM for  bigger fish later . Alternatively a drone could be used for close air to air  . Using data link . But that may be a few years in the future .

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