- Iran State Media
In yet another attempt to try and show the world that Iran's military needs to be taken seriously, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad took pictures alongside the country's new stealth fighter.
Ahmedinejad stood next to the Qaher F313 aircraft in a sparsely decorated bunker as he met with military officials and a pilot to admire the new aircraft in what he described as "among the most advanced fighter jets in the world."
Reports added that some the features included in the jet fighter is the capability of attacking both air and ground targets as well as remaining undetected from enemy radar.
However, aviation experts are taking a closer look at the pictures and are coming to the conclusion that the jet fighter is indeed a fake due to various shortcomings found in the published photograph.
Experts have stated that the dimensions of the aircraft look to small and would not be able to accommodate a pilot in flight. They have also been wary of the instrument panel and actual cockpit, which look to have been fitted outside of the fuselage.
"It looks like the Iranians dumped some rudimentary flight controls and an ejection seat into a shell molded in what they thought were stealthy angles," Andrew Davies, senior defense analyst and director of research at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Fairfax Media.
"It looks like it might make a noise and vibrate if you put 20 cents in it … I can see (almost) how North Korea gets away with transparent nonsense due to isolation, but Iran has a population that's much more switched on and connected, at least in the cities," he added.
Iranian state television broadcast the president's visit to the planes undisclosed location, but did not provide a demonstration of its flying capability. State media did, however, provide pictures of the aircraft reportedly in flight, but those photographs were thought to have been altered or that a smaller, remote controlled model was photographed instead.
"I guess a possible explanation is that it plays well in the provinces, where people aren't as savvy," Davies said.