HESA Saeqeh

Saeqeh, alternatively spelt Sa'eqeh; Saegheh, or Saeqeh-80, is an Iranian built single-seat jet fighter, derived from the American Northrop F-5. A joint product of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force and the Iranian Ministry of Defense, it is the second generation of the Iranian Azarakhsh fighter. Saeqeh aircraft were tested successfully in Iran 20 September 2007.

HESA Saeqeh
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company
Origin Iran (Persia)
Country Name Origin Year
Iran (Persia) 2007
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Iran (Persia) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company 24 View

The first prototype of the jet was shown on state television making a test flight in July 2004. 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". In that exercise, which began on August 19, 2006, the new fighter carried out actions described as "a mission to bomb virtual enemy targets", and "a mock bombing mission". 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. Three prototypes took part in a military parade on 22 September 2007.

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.

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. 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.

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). 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.

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

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.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company
First flight July 2004
Introduction 22 September 2007
Status Operational
Primary user Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
Number built 24 planned
Developed from HESA Azarakhsh

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 15.89 m
  • Wingspan: 8.13 m
  • Height:
  • Empty weight: 4,400 kg
  • Loaded weight: 9,000 kg
  • Powerplant: 2 × turbojet


  • Maximum speed: 917 kn (Mach 1.6, 1,060 mph, 1,700 km/h)
  • Range: 3,000 km
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 m
  • Rate of climb: 175 m/s


  • Guns: 2× 20 mm (0.787 in) M39A2 Revolver cannons in the nose, 280 rounds/gun
  • Hardpoints: 7 total: 2× wing-tip AAM launch rails, 4× under-wing & 1× under-fuselage pylon stations with a capacity of 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg)

End notes