Iran’s Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced in Tehran today that Iran has mass produced new weapons, including an eight-barreled anti-aircraft gun with a firing rate of over 4,000 bullets per minute. The heavy machinegun was said to have the capability of hitting mobile command stations, different kinds of drones, low-flying aircraft and cruise missiles. Najjar said Iran has been designing and producing over 40 weapon systems locally.
In another military-related development, US today banned the sale of any F-14 aircraft components. The move was to prevent Iran from getting parts necessary to keep its F-14 fleet operational. All F-14 and F-4 components must now be destroyed.
It is believed that Iran has been able to restore at least three of its F-14’s jets. Jane Defense Weekly reported last August that the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) has returned to service three F-14A Tomcat interceptor aircraft. US sold to Iran 79 F-14’s some thirty years ago, during the last years of the shah. The jets were heavily used during Iran-Iraq war.
It is estimated that some 57 F-14A’s are still in existence, though at varying degrees of disrepair.
Iran has also kept its fleet of aging F-4 Phantoms. One the F-4’s crashed in the Gulf of Oman last November. Iran had purchased some 220 of the Vietnam-era fighter jets in 1970s. It is not know how many Phantoms are operational today. Last October, Iran announced that it has fit new 2,000-pound optically guided smart bombs, called Ghadr, on its F-4’s and F-5’s.