|HESA Azarakhsh displayed in Vahdati Air Base - 2009|
|Status||In service |
|Primary user||Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force|
|Number built||First Generation: 6 |
2nd Generation: 4 
3rd Generation: 1
4th and 5th generation: unknown
|Developed from||Northrop F-5E Tiger II|
|Developed into||HESA Saeqeh|
The Azarakhsh was developed in Isfahan by the Iranian army, Defense Ministry, and aircraft-manufacturing company HESA.
Design and development
In April 1997 Iranian Brigadier General Arasteh, a deputy head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces declared that Iran had successfully designed, constructed, and tested its first fighter aircraft. By late 1997 Iran had begun mass producing the aircraft, but by mid-2000, four aircraft were said to be undergoing operational tests, with production proceeding at a rate of around ten aircraft per year.
Iran has yet to release any additional information about the aircraft and its capabilities are unknown. On May 17, 2000, Iran's acting commander of the Air Force said that Azarakhsh had reached mass-production stage. On August 5, 2007, Azarakhsh conducted a successful test flight. On August 6, 2007, Ministry of Defense Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said, "[Azarakhsh] is now at the stage of industrial production and its mass production will start in the future." 
Mass production started by late 1997 and as of 2001 there were six in inventory, with a production schedule established for 30 aircraft over the following three years.
The HESA Saeqeh is a follow on aircraft, derived from the Azarakhsh fighter. As with many previous indigenous Iranian developed weapons, no performance data has been released to verify official claims. An unknown number of this generation have built and said to have entered service with IRIAF September 22, 2007.
- Northrop F-5
- HESA Saeqeh
- List of Iranian Air Force aircraft
- Military of Iran
- Iran Aviation Industries Organization
- Iranian military industry
- Current Equipment of the Iranian Army
- Qaher 313
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HESA Azarakhsh.|
- "Global Security". http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/airforce-equipment.htm.
- GlobalSecurity.org Azarakhsh (Lightning)
-  Tel Aviv University Publication, Analysis by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies
- Pavyand.com Payvand's Iran News
- Azarakhsh fighter conducts successful test flight IRNA
- New fighter plane tested successfully: Defense minister IRNA
- IRNA 4th, 5th generations of Sa'eqe jet fighters to be produced January 5, 2008
- Payvand News Saeqeh fighter planes tested successfully in Iran September 20, 2007
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