February 17, 2009, Tehran -- Iran will produce more modern military planes after its success in building 'Saeqeh' (Thunderbolt) and 'Azarakhsh' (Lightening) fighter jets, Iranian Deputy Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi said on Tuesday.
"We have built some fighter jets, including Azarakhsh and Saeqeh, in our country that could fly and it is natural that we won't stop and will take the necessary steps for their development," Vahidi told FNA on the sidelines of the 8th international Iran Airspace Conference in the central province of Isfahan.
Saeqeh, a joint product of the Iranian Air Force and the Defense Ministry, went on display as part of the Iranian air force's fleet during the military parades on the Army Day earlier this year.
He announced that Iran has produced spy planes with the flying range of 1,000 km, but declined to present any further details of "this important achievement".
Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran, to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.
General Vahidi described antagonistic assessments and concerns expressed by a number of western countries specially about Iran's progress in the field of aerospace as their usual hostility towards the Islamic Republic and added, "They show enmity while they should welcome Iran's production of science, they want to deter Iran from acquiring technologies in the field of science."
"Even Iranian expatriates want dignity for their homeland and when they witness (our) domestic successes, they will undoubtedly have a motive for returning home," the Iranian General reiterated. (FARS)
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