Exercise “Blue Flag”, taking place over a vast area of southern Israel from Nov. 24 to 28 and involving about 100 aircraft from the host nation, U.S., Italy and Greece, is the largest joint-military exercise in Israel’s history.
Its aim is to improve cooperation among the participating air forces and train together in a wide range of missions, including Defensive, Offensive Counter-Air and Close Air Support.
Even if Iranian media outlets published articles that listed the aircraft’s top features, based on the first (and only) images released on Feb. 2, 2013, we explained that the Qaher would never fly unless it was extensively modified and improved.
No more images of the F-313 have been released since then, until a new photo (taken by a user nicknamed “Iranian Spotters”) has emerged on Pakistan Defense forum, an image that allegedly shows the Qaher being moved to be prepared for taxi tests.
The new image (possibly partly photoshopped, based on some suspect blurry details on the tails and elsewhere) doesn’t add much to what we have already seen: the aircraft is probably the same (mock-up) plane showcased on Feb. 2.
Image credit: “Iranian Spotters” via Pakistan Defence forum
On Nov. 16, a Northrop Grumman BQM-74 target drone hit guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) punching a three to four foot hone in the side of the warship.
The mishap occurred at 01.25 local time during a “tracking exercise during an air tracking event,” resulting in “minor injuries to two sailors,” according to Navy officials.
The target drone hit the side of the warship, near the ship’s Command Information Center (CIC), where the control room for the Aegis radar system is located; the ship was conducting Combat System Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT) to assess the onboard Aegis combat system.
During the test, the operator of the BQM-74 that simulated an enemy aircraft or missile, lost control of the drone that eventually punctured the ship without any of the onboard self-defense systems could be activated to shoot it down.
At a ceremony held in Tehran and attented by Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, Iran has unveiled a new stratetic UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) dubbed “Fotros”.
The new drone, is “the biggest unmanned strategic plane in the country that enjoys special capabilities,” according to FARS News Agency.
Built by Defense Ministry’s Air Industries “Fotros”, that has an endurance of 30 hours and can fly for more than 2,000km non-stop, has a nose section extremely similar to the one of the General Atomics Predator and a twin tail boom typical of the made-in-Iran Mohajer drones family.
Noteworthy, the drone showcased in Iran carried air-to-surface missiles with yellow labels (usually meaning with live warheads).