HESA Saeqeh

For the shoulder-launched anti-tank rocket, see Saegheh (rocket). For surface-to-surface missile system, see Saegheh.
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company
First flight July 2004
Introduction 22 September 2007
Status In service
Primary user Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Developed from HESA Azarakhsh

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.

Design and development

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]

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.[11] 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.[11] 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).[12] The fighter-bomber had the ability to track down enemy aircraft, engage in combat, target locations on the ground and carry an assortment of weapons and ammunition.[13]

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.[14] In May 2012 three new-generation Saeqeh fighters had been manufactured and delivered to the Air Force.[15]

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][16]


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.[17] 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.[18]




Data from

General characteristics



See also

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 globalsecurity.org
  2. John Pike. "Azarakhsh". 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." Tehran Times, 14 May 2012.
  5. "Saeqeh Fighter". YouTube. 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  6. MEMRITV.org MEMRI Transcript
  7. Saeqeh Fighter Plane Test-Flown In `Blow of Zolfaqar' Wargames, Islamic Republic News Agency
  8. Iran Upgrades Aging US-Made Jet, Payvands.com
  9. 1 2 President Inspects Home-Made Fighter Jets, Fars News Agency
  10. Iran to Display 3rd Generation of Home-Made Fighter Jet, farsnews.com
  11. 1 2 Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) Air Force has planned to manufacture cutting edge jet fighters (Replays to fix test-flight)
  12. "Fars News Agency :: Iran to Introduce Indigenous Fighter Jets in 2009". English.farsnews.com. 2008-09-05. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  13. "No Operation". Presstv.com. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  14. "First Squadron of Iran-Made Saeqeh Fighters Joins Operations". FARS News Agency. 2011-09-10. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
  15. "Iran, world, political, sport, economic news and headlines". MehrNews.com. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  16. "Iran to Unveil New Generation of Home-Made Fighter Jets Soon". Fars News. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  17. "Farsnews". farsnews.com. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  18. "Iran reveals 'new' fighter type". janes.com. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
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