US vs Iran
technology especially from the AN/APQ-120 fire control system of the F-4E. The radar is roughly similar to or slightly more advanced than the Russian Kopyo “Spear” radar. The new radar resulted in the aircraft having a 17cm longer radar dome than a regular F-5E. However, this is unnoticeable to the untrained eye. One more important improvement was made to the fighter. Its twin J-85 turbo-jet engines were uprated with stronger thrust. Thus, the Azarakhsh was born, a single-seat lightweight precision ground attack strike-fighter. This fighter is almost identical to an F-5E although one noticeable difference to an amateur aircraft observer is its camouflage pattern.
In addition, an air-ground weapon called Zulfiqar was designed and developed with North Korea specifically for the Azarakhsh and later aircraft. It is reportedly a missile employing multiple separating warheads to hit several targets simultaneously. Other weapons for the Azarakhsh include AIM-9 Sidewinders, Mk.80-series of bombs, Chinese PL-5s, and the Iranian-built Shabaz-1/2 unguided rockets of large calibre. Possibly, but not confirmed is the ability to use the R-73 (AA-11) “Archer” and Iranian built version of the AIM-7 Sparrow, which being a semi-active radar homing missile would give the Azarakhsh a BVR combat ability.” By late 1997 Iran had begun mass producing the aircraft. By mid-2000, four aircraft were said to be undergoing operational tests, with production proceeding at a rate of around ten aircraft per year.
Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar