Iran inaugurates new, Iranian-made twin-seat fighter jet

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran displayed a new twin-seat fighter jet Tuesday, saying it's all Iranian-made and with advanced avionics and fire control systems. The country's president said it would enhance Tehran's deterrence capabilities in confronting Washington.

State television showed President Hassan Rouhani briefly sitting in the plane's cockpit inside a hangar just before the inauguration ceremony.

The aircraft is dubbed Kowsar, which in Islamic meaning refers to a river in paradise and is also the title of a chapter in the Muslim holy book, the Quran.

Iran New Fighter Jet
In this photo released by official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani is briefed by an air force pilot as he sits in the cockpit of a fighter jet, before an inauguration ceremony of the aircraft, Iran, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. AP



At the ceremony, Rouhani said Iran's defense program is aimed at deterrence vis-a-vis the United States.

"The enemy should see how expensive an invasion of Iran would be," he said. "Why does not the U.S wage a military attack on us? Because of our power."

The U.S. renewed its sanctions on Iran earlier this month after President Donald Trump in May pulled America out of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The report said Iran will also manufacture a single-seat version of the fighter jet. It said the aircraft is capable of flying at an altitude of 45,000 feet and with the speed of Mach 1.2. Mach 1 would be equal to the speed of sound

The TV also broadcast footage it said showed the jet in flight.

Iran already has U.S.-made F-4, F-5 as well as F-14 fighter jets and also Russian-made Sukhoi aircraft in service.

The Islamic Republic often announces military achievements that cannot be independently verified.