Continuing it's tradition of reverse engineering and fabricating its stockpile of 40-year old American weaponry, Iran annoucned that it is about to unviel its first ever domestically produced Cobra attack choppers.
Yup, nearly 50-years after the U.S. introduced the Cobra, Iran has figured out how to make its own. Kinda reminds me of Iran's Saeqeh fighter jet -- a Northrop F-5 knock of featuring some Iranian modifications and a paint job that resembles the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels' color scheme. The Iranian army flies American-made AH-1J Sea Cobras -- some of which have been rebuilt in Iran as the Panha 2091 -- that were delivered before the 1979 revolution.
Iran's locally-grown Cobras will be armed with "different types of home-made caliber guns, rockets and missiles," according to Iran's semi-official Fars news agency. Yup, "different types of home-made" weapons. Apparently, these home-made weapons and other modifications to the Cobra design will make it "preferable to Apache Choppers (sic)." I'm shaking.
Here's more from a rather amusing press release, er news article, put out by FARS on the new choppers. Pay attention to the last sentence, it says Iran's military is purely defensive and shouldn't be seen as a threat to anyone. This might be a small sign that Tehran is trying to slowly cool down the big nuclear-weapons related imbroglio it's in with the U.S. and Israel.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian Army plans to unveil and put into operation Iran's first home-made Cobra chopper in special wargames of the Army's Airborne unit in the near future, a senior commander announced on Wednesday.Thanks to 4FingerofBourbon for the tip.
Speaking to FNA, Lieutenant Commander of the Army's Ground Force Brigadier General Kioumars Heidari said that the unit would unveil the national military chopper in the special airborne exercises to be held in the near future.
As regards the capabilities of the national chopper, the commander stated, "The chopper is an advanced generation of Model 209, or Cobra, choppers which is also equipped with different types of home-made caliber guns, rockets and missiles."
"All the phases of designing and manufacturing of the chopper have been done inside the country and the helicopter enjoys some capabilities which make it preferable to Apache Choppers," Heidari said.
The commander further announced that different types of anti-chopper and anti-armor weapons will be tested in the wargames.
Iran has taken wide strides in designing and manufacturing different types of light, semi-heavy and heavy weapons, military tools and equipment. Tehran launched an arms development program during the 1980-88 Iraqi imposed war on Iran to compensate for a US weapons embargo. Since 1992, Iran has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter planes.
Yet, Iranian officials have always stressed that the country's military and arms programs serve defensive purposes and should not be perceived as a threat to any other country.