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Iran: Saeqeh fighter plane test-flown in `Blow of Zolfaqar' wargames

Tabriz, East Azarbaijan Prov, Sept 6, IRNA-Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Army Ayatollah Salehi said on Wednesday that the `Saeqeh' fighter plane was one of those tested in the ongoing `Blow of Zolfaqar' wargames in northwestern Iran.

"For the first time, the Saeqeh, or Thunderbolt, fighter plane carried out a mission to bomb virtual enemy targets on Wednesday in northwest of Iran," the commander told IRNA.

He added that the plane, which is similar to the US F-18 fighters, was designed, remodeled and improved by Iranian experts at the army's Sattari Air Base.

Salehi added that Iran had not received outside help to modify the plane.

He noted that the technology needed for manufacturing Saeqeh fighters basically came from foreign countries such as the US, Russia, China and India and was only modified by Iranian experts.

The 'Blow of Zolfaqar' wargames were carrying out in land, sea and air in different parts of Iran since August 19.

Zolfaqar, which refers to the sword of Imam Ali, the first Imam of the Household of the Holy Prophet, is a symbol of power and courage for Shi'ite Muslims.

The wargames are aimed at ensuring the army's preparedness and defense capabilities as well as testing newly produced weapons.

Iran tests first-ever 2,000-pound guided bomb: minister

Tehran, Sept 6, IRNA-Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said here Wednesday that Iran has, for the first time, designed and produced a 2,000-pound guided bomb named `Qassed'.

Referring to the bomb, he said "Iran will test one of the best achievements of the defense ministry in the (ongoing) `Blow of Zolfaqar wargames."

"This remarkable achievement, one of the most important of the defense industry in this Iranian calendar year, will add to Iran's defensive potential and concretize its deterrent principle," he said.

He said Iran now joins the few countries that possess guided missile technology.

The minister further expressed felicitations to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the armed forces and Iranian nation, and lauded experts of the Iranian Defense Ministry for this great achievement.

... Payvand News - 9/6/06 ... --

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