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Iran: Launch of fighter jet highlights constraints on military build-up

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) marked Defence Industry Day by unveiling what it claimed was the country’s first domestically-designed and -manufactured fighter jet, on 21 August. “This indicates our capabilities in this sector and it is a valuable and satisfying move,” said President Hassan Rouhani. However, international analysts quickly noted the close resemblance between the twin-seater Kowsar (which was seen in official footage taxiing along the ground but not taking off) and the F-5 fighter jet designed by US defence firm Northrop in the 1950s.

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