On November 3, Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami participated in a ceremony marking the start of the mass-production line of the domestically-designed fourth-generation fighter jet Kowsar at Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company in Isfahan Province.
“Soon the required number of these planes will be produced and put at the service of the Air Force,” Brigadier-General Hatami said during the ceremony.
He hailed the accomplishments of Iranian engineers, which had been made in the face of “the enemies’ psychological warfare, propagandist blackmail, and economic sanctions.” The defense minsiter added that Teheran will “spare no effort” to develop further “peaceful defense technologies” to protect its sovereignty.
According to the Iranian government, the Kowsar fighter jet boasts “advanced avionics”, a multipurpose radar and a fire control system linked to a digital military data network as well as an independent radio navigation system.
The Defense Ministry’s Public Relations Department stated that the production of each Kowsar jet would save the country around $16.5 million.
Brigadier-General Hatami described the jet as “the very symbol of fighting the [global] arrogance and standing against the excessive demands of the imperial system, which is being led by the Great Satan, the United States.”
Iranian Armed Forces spokesman Abolfazl Shekarchi added that Iran’s defense capabilities have grown to such a level that no power can withstand them and challenge the state.
While Iranian official statements are as always loud, the Iranian military faces signficiant issues with its conventional capabilities, especially the Air Force, because of the sanction regime imposed on the country. Teheran responded to this situation by boosting its asymmetrical warfare capabilities. The US and its allies as well as independent expert see the Quds Force, a special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps respponsible for their extraterritorial operations, as one of the most capable clandestine warfare units around the world.
On November 2, the White House announced that the US is re-imposing all sanctions lifted from Iran in the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal and is even expanding the list of sanctions. The official statement said that “this will be the toughest sanctions regime ever imposed on Iran“. The sanctions, which enter force on November 5, will target over 700 individuals and entities, including major Iranian banks, oil exporters, and shipping companies. This will further complicate the work of the Iranian defense and energy companies.