Frontal view of IRIAF HESA F-5F Saeghe II fitted with 2× wing-tip AAM launch rails and 4× under-wing pylon stations
IRIAF HESA F-5F Saeghe II fighter-bomber/advanced trainer in flight
COMMENTARY: According to aviation writer Babak Taghvaee, this Saeghe II was built from a 21OCT00 accident-damaged F-5F from Dezful/Shahid Vahdati TAB-4. Subsequently, the airframe was at times relegated to parts reclamation as well as restoration, before the fuselage was finally shipped to Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA) to be used as the basis for the Saeghe II. Taghvaee goes on to state that Project Saeghe 80 and 90 remain active, with current Saeghe aircraft envisioned for upgrade to SR.II level, and the entire fleet of IRIAF F-5 aircraft converted to Saeghe types by 2030. If accurate, Iran's military leadership would be basing its plans for a maintaining of the status quo, where the IRIAF continues to be denied access to new deliveries of foreign import combat aircrtaft.
Photos: Islamic Republic News Agency