HESA Saeqeh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
A HESA Saeqeh of IRIAF.jpg
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA)
First flight July 2004
Introduction 22 September 2007
Status In service
Primary user Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Number built at least 9
Developed from Northrop F-5
HESA Azarakhsh
Variants HESA Kowsar

The HESA Saeqeh (Persian: صاعقه‎, "thunderbolt"), alternatively spelt Sa'eqeh; Saegheh, or Saeqeh-80,[1] is an Iranian built single-seat jet fighter, derived from the American Northrop F-5.[2][3] A joint product of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force and the Iranian Ministry of Defence, it is the second generation of the Iranian Azarakhsh fighter.[4] Saeqeh aircraft were tested successfully in Iran 20 September 2007.


The first prototype of the jet was shown on state television making a test flight in July 2004.[5] According to the translation by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) of a broadcast on Islamic Republic of Iran News Network (IRINN), the Saeqeh became operational on September 6, 2006, when it participated in an Iranian military wargame exercise called "Blow of Zulfiqar".[6] In that exercise, which began on August 19, 2006, the new fighter carried out actions described as "a mission to bomb virtual enemy targets"[7] and "a mock bombing mission".[8] Two prototypes, which appeared to differ from the one that had been shown previously, conducted a fly-past at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport on 20 September 2007.[9] Three prototypes took part in a military parade on 22 September 2007.[9]

Iran has announced that it will test fly the other variants of the Saeqeh in the near future which will differ from the previous aircraft due to major changes in its weapon system, aerodynamics and operational range.[10]

In September 2010, Iran displayed the first squadron of Saeqeh fighter jets produced during an air show staged during the military parades at the beginning of the Iranian Sacred Defence Week according to the FARS News Agency.[11] In May 2012 Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi stated that three new-generation Saeqeh fighters had been manufactured and delivered to the Air Force.[12]

On 26 August 2012, deputy Defence Minister Mohammad Eslami announced that an upgraded version of the Saeqeh would be introduced in the Iranian Air Force by the end of 2013.[N 1][13]


Little information on the specifications of the Saeqeh has been released. The Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, Brigadier-General Ahmad Mighani, said that the Saeqeh is up-to-date in terms of aerodynamic balance and in possessing missile and radar systems.[14] The Managing Director of the Aviation Organization of the Ministry of Defense and Logistics of the Armed Forces, Majid Hedayat, described the Saeqeh as a logistic and combat plane with high manoeuvring capability and an ability to bomb close targets.[14] The airframe resembles a Northrop F-5 with two vertical stabilizers instead of one.

In 2008, Iran announced the aircraft has a range of 3,000 km (1,864 mi).[15] The fighter-bomber has the ability to track down enemy aircraft, engage in combat, target locations on the ground and carry an assortment of weapons and ammunition.[16]

The visual differences between the Saeqeh and the original Northrop F-5E remain limited to two vertical tail stabilizers instead of one, additional wing strakes and altered jet intakes. Fuselage, landing gear, engines, weaponry and cockpit instruments appear identical to the F-5E, which indicates that the Saequeh is not a new-built jet fighter, but a modification of existing Northrop F-5s. It is also possible that the Saeqeh airframes are actually taken from the large inventory of old F-5s in non-flyable condition. This would explain why so far serial numbers for only nine aircraft have been observed.[17]


A new version was introduced in 2015 with 2 seats, more advanced weapon systems, electronics and avionics. This model can also be used for training purposes.[18] According to one Iranian military source:

"… [Iran] will [soon] manufacture an aircraft on Saeqeh platform which will be equipped with Fourth generation (and even higher) avionics …,"
- Commander of Air Force's Owj Complex Colonel Houshang Monfaredzadeh, 2015

The IRIAF is believed to have 17 Northrop F-5F aircraft remaining in its inventory, which may be suitable for conversion to the Saeqeh-2 configuration.[19]





Data from[citation needed]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.89 m (52 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.3 m (27 ft 3 in)
  • Empty weight: 4,400 kg (9,700 lb)
  • Gross weight: 9,000 kg (19,842 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Ivchenko ai-322f afterburning turbojet engines, 24 kN (5,500 lbf) thrust each dry, 44 kN (9,900 lbf) with afterburner


  • Maximum speed: 1,700 km/h (1,100 mph, 920 kn)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.4+
  • Range: 3,000 km (1,900 mi, 1,600 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 m (52,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 175 m/s (34,400 ft/min)


  • Guns:20 mm (0.787 in) M39A2 Revolver cannons in the nose, 280 rounds/gun
  • Hardpoints: 7 total: 2× wing-tip AAM launch rails, 4× under-wing & 1× under-fuselage pylon stations with a capacity of 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg),

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. ^ The Solar Hijri year 1391 on the Iranian calendar
  1. ^ Saeqeh-80 / Owj Archived 2006-09-29 at the Wayback Machine globalsecurity.org
  2. ^ John Pike. "Azarakhsh". Archived from the original on 22 September 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014.
  3. ^ Iran-Defense-Miqani. Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). "Commander says air defense equipment provided domestically"
  4. ^ "Iranian Air Force takes delivery of 3 Saeqeh fighters." Archived 2012-05-18 at the Wayback Machine Tehran Times, 14 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Saeqeh Fighter". YouTube. 2006-09-30. Archived from the original on 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  6. ^ MEMRITV.org Archived 2007-10-17 at the Wayback Machine MEMRI Transcript
  7. ^ Saeqeh Fighter Plane Test-Flown In `Blow of Zolfaqar' Wargames, Islamic Republic News Agency, archived from the original on 2007-03-12
  8. ^ Iran Upgrades Aging US-Made Jet, Payvands.com, archived from the original on 2007-01-10, retrieved 2006-09-21
  9. ^ a b President Inspects Home-Made Fighter Jets, Fars News Agency, archived from the original on 2007-11-10
  10. ^ Iran to Display 3rd Generation of Home-Made Fighter Jet, farsnews.com, archived from the original on 2007-11-10
  11. ^ "First Squadron of Iran-Made Saeqeh Fighters Joins Operations". FARS News Agency. 2011-09-10. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  12. ^ "Iran, world, political, sport, economic news and headlines". MehrNews.com. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  13. ^ "Iran to Unveil New Generation of Home-Made Fighter Jets Soon". Fars News. 26 August 2012. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  14. ^ a b Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) Archived 2007-10-02 at the Wayback Machine Air Force has planned to manufacture cutting edge jet fighters (Replays to fix test-flight)
  15. ^ "Fars News Agency :: Iran to Introduce Indigenous Fighter Jets in 2009". English.farsnews.com. 2008-09-05. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  16. ^ "No Operation". Presstv.com. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  17. ^ "The Buzz :: Why Iran's Fighter-Jet Ripoff Is Just Fake News". nationalinterest.org. 2017-02-17. Archived from the original on 2018-05-22. Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  18. ^ "Farsnews". farsnews.com. Archived from the original on 15 February 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  19. ^ Gareth Jennings. "Iran reveals 'new' fighter type". janes.com. Archived from the original on 2015-06-30. Retrieved 22 February 2015.

External links[edit]