Iran's next generation fighter jet testbed unveiled (and it looks like an F-5 attached to a Tupolev 154)

On Aug. 21, the first avionics and radar testbed for what it’s thought to be the Saeqeh V fighter jet, made a sudden appearance on the images taken during the presentation of six types of new military equipment held in Tehran.

In fact, according to FARS, the aircraft was showcased during a presentation that included the fourth generation of Fateh 110 missile, Bonian 4 marine engine, Armita space test laboratory, Aras tactical vehicle, Vafa mortar-launcher, and Shahed navigation system.

The front section of the new fighter (an advanced version of the Saeqeh, a modified F-5 with Hornet-like tails) is attached to the tail of a  Tu-154 testbed that will be used for high speed tests.

Although we don’t know anything of this “new” aircraft, the military significance of this alleged next generation plane is at least questionable. However, this experimental plane shows that the Iranian aerospace industry is quite active, not only on UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) technologies.

Screen captures from the Iranian TV.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. I appreciate what Iran is trying to get out of the F5 airframe but it is time to move on to a new and more modern design…

    I guess that rumor about F16 from VZ being used by Iran doesn’t hold much water, you think they would move on to that design, maybe this shows that Iran just can’t go to the next step in aviation because why are they still messing around with a warmed up F5 design?

  2. Oh yes, Iran is going gangbusters to “prove” that they have a modern air force that won’t get tossed like yesterday’s garbage by the IAF. They’ve been digging up stock photos and film footage from the 1980s of their F-14 fleet to plaster all over the internet. I’m amused by the pictures of F-14s supposedly taxiing off to fly missions. In the majority of those pictures, you can see the towbar attached or intakes covered or some other giveaway. The air-to-air shots are obviously old yellowed stock photos or they’re nearly black-and-white because they’re so old that the color has badly faded. It’s a joke.

    There’s one piece of logic that completely destroys their myth of flying F-14s: the ratio of maintenance hours per flight hour is extremely high for the F-14. To have a fleet that is generating any kind of reasonable flight hours, they would be spending a mint to maintain those 40 year old jets. Where are they getting the parts?!

  3. Bill G,

    Most of the videos you see on Youtube, and other video websites are posted by private individuals, not the military. So if that is what you’re going by, you are sadly way under informed. But to each their own.

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