Iran recently released footage of what it claims is a fifth-generation stealth fighter jet called the Qaher F-313 rolling around a runway, but experts aren’t buying it.
The F-313 has appeared before, in 2013, when War Is Boring pointed out that the jet was too small to carry its announced weapons payload or even fit a pilot.
Business Insider showed the footage to a senior scientist working on stealth aircraft who asked to remain anonymous because of the classified nature of his work.
As far as radar signature goes, “some parts are laughable,” the scientist said. Specifically, he said the downturned wingtips reminded him of something out of “Star Trek” and the vertical or near vertical fins on the plane would light up a radar.
The scientist said he seriously doubted that Iran had the engineering processes and expertise in place to manufacture a stealth aircraft, the details of which need to be perfectly lined up to baffle radars. Iran has for years been under sanctions, prohibited from buying the kinds of components needed to build advanced stealth aircraft.
Writing for Vice’s Motherboard, journalist David Axe said the F-313 — which does not fly in the video — had its tire pressure stenciled on the outside of the plane and that it was way too low for a full-sized airplane weighed down with instruments and fuel.
The scientist says the tire pressure “takes away all doubt that it’s a fake.”
Still, some experts say Iran could attain somewhat credible stealth aircraft in the near future, as China’s J-31, an F-35 knockoff, nears production.